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1847 TO 1852 









' c:'6 ti k 

Printed in Great Britain 
hy Turnbull dr^ S/>earSf Edinburgh 



By C. Hagberg Wright, LL.D vii 



By V. Tchertkofi xi 



I. On Music. By Leo Tolstoy 


II. Concerning Tolstoy's Testamentary Dis- 
positions. By V. TchertkoJBE . . . . 


A . Tolstoy's Will according to the Entry posted in 
the Diary at Moscow on March 27th, 1895 


B. The Text of Tolstoy's Autograph Will as 
admitted to Probate by the District Court of 
Tula on November i6th, 1910 




III. A Brief Survey of Tolstoy's Life during the 

Years, i 844-1 852 241 

1 . A General Survey. By N. Gusev . . . 241 

2. The Labour of Thought as Reflected in the 

Diary of His Youth, Vol. I. By A. 

Tchertkoff 250 

3. What Leo Tolstoy wrote during the Years, 

1847-1852. By A. Tchertkoff . . .253 

4. Table of Entries in the Dmry. By A. Tchertkofi 256 

IV. Genealogy of the Tolstoys .... 258 

V. Alphabetical Index ..... 261 

Part I. Index of Proper Names .... 261 

Part II. Subject Index ..... 270 


Count Ilya Andreyevich Tolstoy — Leo Tolstoy's 

Paternal Grandfather. . . . Frontispiece 

Facing Page 

Prince Nikolay Sergeyevich Volkonsky — ^Leo Tolstoy's 

Maternal Grandfather . . . . . 34 

Count Nikolay Ilyich Tolstoy — Leo Tolstoy's Father 52 

Leo Tolstoy at the Time of his Departure for the 

Caucasus, 1851 ....... 76 


When the records of a great man's life are in question 
it is not so much the culmination — a matter of common 
knowledge — which interests one, but rather the first steps, 
the early indications of what he was eventually to prove 
himself. Of Tolstoy's Diaries, of which only a portion 
relating to his latter years has hitherto been published, 
it may be said that the good wine has been kept till now. 
The vintage of Tolstoy's youth holds in a rare degree 
the essence of his matured philosophy. 

The Diaries, of which the first pages were written in 1846, 
were, from the beginning. Diaries of thoughts rather than 
of actions. They express many of the ideas which he was 
afterwards to expand in his polemical works, and they owe 
their vital quaHty not only to intimate, self-revealing 
touches, but because they voice the cry of Youth in all 
climes and ages — Youth which is ever in spiritual conflict 
between the external laws of Hfe and the needs of the inner 

It was a subject upon which Tolstoy wrote and pondered 
much in the course of his long Ufe. 

His decision to constitute his friend, M. Tchertkoff, 
editor of the Diaries imposed upon the latter an onerous 
task. The greater part of the original MSS. being retained 
by the Historical Museum of Moscow, was not available, 
so that the editor was forced to rely on the correctness of 
the copies furnished to him. He was also hampered by 
the restrictions of the Imperial censorship, in addition to 
the necessity for considerable excision, owing to the private 
and personal nature of some of the entries which had been 
originally intended for no eyes but those of the writer. 
Manifold difficulties of this nature being eventually sur- 



mounted, an edition comprising the years 1895-1899 was 
published in Russia and arrangements for an EngHsh and 
Continental version were set on foot. 

Having been invited by Tolstoy's executors to act as 
trustee in England, in association with Madame Tchertkoff, 
I was nominated treasurer of the necessary funds, my 
responsibility being confined to the pubHcation of Tolstoy's 
biography and works in this country. 

An English lady (Mrs Mayo), a lover of Tolstoy's works 
and doctrines, was selected to edit the English version, 
but unhappily the post was rendered vacant by her death 
in 1914. Since then no new editor has been appointed, 
but careful translations have been made by Mr Hogarth, 
assisted by my able and conscientious Russian secretary, 
Mr A. Sirnis. To both these gentlemen I wish to express 
my sincere gratitude for the care and zeal they have 
exercised in their work and for their adherence to the 
rules relating to the strict accuracy of the translations, 
as laid down by the executors, as far as was possible with 
due regard for the exigencies of the English idiom. The 
Diaries cover, in all, a period of sixty-four years, which 
may be divided into three sections, corresponding to 
youth, middle Hfe, and old age. In normal conditions 
Tolstoy seldom failed to make a daily entry, relating 
usually to his thoughts and emotions and the prickings 
of a super-sensitive conscience, but also throwing light on 
his surroundings, the progress of his writings, and kindred 
subjects. There are breaks of considerable length at 
various periods, such as the first years of his married life 
and when he was absorbed in the composition of his great 
novels War and Peace, Anna Karenina and Resurrection. 

With these exceptions, however, Tolstoy's diaries reveal 
to us step by step the gradual evolution of his spirit. 

The volumes, which include the period of youth (1846- 
1861), picture him as a pleasure-seeker, a man of fashion, 
even a rake. But there are also evidences from the 
earliest page of a dual personality in the writer. The 
devotee of pleasure was never free from the probings of 


the moralist ; selfish gratification was invariably followed 
by remorse ; religious scepticism was only the precursor 
to devout and unwearied seeking for Hght. From first to 
last these pages bear witness to fearless truthfulness and 
dauntless moral courage. In a full and complete version 
of the entire diary we shall eventually possess a human 
document of exceptional interest and worth. 


July 191 7 


There is an Alphabetical Index at the end of the volume, 
consisting of two sections : Part I. contains all proper 
names which figure in the text of the Diary as well as in the 
Appendices and Footnotes ; Part II.j the Subject Index, 
contains a Hst of Tolstoy's conceptions and thoughts on 
various subjects. 

Double square brackets, [[ J, indicate passages omitted 
because of their intimate nature, as desired by Tolstoy 
himself. The number enclosed in the brackets indicates 
the number of words omitted in each case. 

The dates of the entries and the titles of Tolstoy's works 
referred to in the Diary have been itaUcized by the 
Editor for the convenience of the reader. In other 
places, comparatively few in number, only those words 
are italicized which were underUned by Tolstoy himself in 
the original. 


The Diary of L. N. Tolstoy's youth, covering the years 
1 847-1861 inclusive, is the earliest Diary of which we have 
knowledge. We publish this Diary as a separate series 
bearing the general title, Diary of his Youth ; there are 
to be three volumes of a similar size and renumbered. 
The present volume contains entries from March 18, 1847, 
to the end of 1852 ; the second volume will embrace the 
period 1853-1855, and the third the years 1856-1861. 

I consider it necessary to warn the readers, especially 
such as are accustomed to seek chiefly spiritual food in 
Tolstoy's writings, that the Diary of his youth should not 
be confused with the series of volumes of his later years, 
the first of which we have already published under the 
title L. N. Tolstoy's Diary for 1895-1899. The Diary of 
his " later years " reflects, of course, the more significant 
and matured period of Tolstoy's spiritual development, 
whereas the Diary of his " youth," which relates to the 
period when his hfe conception was less balanced and had 
not become settled, when he was passing from youth to 
maturity, gives one an idea only of the spiritual demands 
which were springing up in his consciousness. Generally 
speaking, in the Diary of his Youth, side, by side with 
thoughts surprisingly profound as emanating from a young 
man, and with his elevated moods (which indicate in 
embryo his later enlightened Hfe conception), we find a 
large number of entries which are quite trivial and often 
contradictory ; infrequently we find entries concerning 
actions and moods which Tolstoy himself considered 
" evil," to use the term he himself employed at the time. 


When reading such entries we find it hard to believe they 
were written by Tolstoy himself. Hence many of those 
readers who are accustomed to derive spiritual support 
from Tolstoy will find much less " daily bread " in the 
Diary of his Youth than they might naturally expect to 
derive from one of Tolstoy's writings. In addition, they will 
find many things which do not at all coincide with their 
idea of his pure and spiritual visage, and which many 
would perhaps prefer not to read at all sooner than to 
blur the bright image of their beloved teacher. 

Nevertheless I regard it as my moral duty to issue the 
Diary of his Youth in extenso, with only such insignificant 
omissions in the present edition as, apart from censorial 
conditions, are necessitated by the ordinary demands of 
printed matter or by their being of too intimate a nature 
to be published. 

I take this course chiefly because Tolstoy himself desired 
that this Diary should become known to the public ; con- 
cerning this he made a definite statement in an entry 
posted in his Diary on March 27th, 1895, which has already 
appeared in print : 

" I pray that the Diary of my single Hfe be destroyed 
after anything worthy of being retained has been selected 
from it. I pray that the Diary of my single life be 
destroyed, not because I wish to hide my bad Hfe from 
men — ^my Hfe was the habitual worthless Hfe of young men 
devoid of principles ; but I express this wish because my 
Diary, in which I have entered only that which tormented 
me with a consciousness of sin, produces a false, one- 
sided impression and represents . . } WeU, never mind ; 
let the Diary remain as it is ; it wiU show, at least, that 
in spite of all the banality and vileness of my youth I was 
not deserted of God, and that in my old age I have, at 
least to a certain extent, come to comprehend Him and 
to love Him." 

To the end of his Hfe it remained Tolstoy's desire that 
the Diary of his Youth should be preserved. 
^ This sentence ends abruptly and the dots are the author's. — Ed. 


But knowing that his Diaries might be published later 
(after his death), in discussing this question with me 
Tolstoy expressed the desire that when issuing them I 
should deal with them as I might deem expedient. This 
permission has been indirectly confirmed in Tolstoy's 
" Explanatory Note " to his last will of 1910 as follows : 
"... that all manuscripts and papers . . . diaries and 
so on . . .be handed over to V. G. Tchertkoff that the 
latter . . . may sift them and pubHsh what he may deem 
desirable." ^ 

As I have not in my possession the original of the Diary 
of his Youth, I have been compelled to pubHsh it from a 
copy made at my request from the first copy which the 
Countess Sophie Andreyevna Tolstoy had made from the 
original, and which, for this purpose, she placed at my 
disposal for a short time in August, 1907. 

The Countess Sophie Andreyevna Tolstoy omitted in her 

^ Vide Appendix II. 

Owing to the fact that the Diavy of His Youth contained certain 
details, Tolstoy more than once requested me to edit these Diaries, 
as he considered it undesirable that his own children should do it. 
For this purpose he intended to hand over to me the original folios of 
this Diary. Certain circumstances, however, prevented him from 
carrying out his intention. During his life-time the Diaries were 
placed in the Historical Museum at Moscow by Countess Sophia 
Andreyevna Tolstoy. 

After his death Tolstoy's Diaries of his Youth and some folios 
of his Later Years, which were in Countess S. A. Tolstoy's posses- 
sion were not handed over to me. This I was obliged to point out 
in the preface to Vol. I. of the Diary of His Later Years, wherein 
the reader will find more detailed information concerning Tolstoy's 
posthumous manuscripts. 

Vide Appendix II,, which deals more fully with " Tolstoy's 
Testamentary Dispositions." 

In undertaking the publication of this new series of Tolstoy's 
posthumous works, I am forced, against my will, to point out 
the fact that it has been impossible to finally compare the text of 
the present volume with the originals, owing to Tolstoy's will not 
having been carried out by some of the members of his family. 
However painful it may be to me to say this, I am obliged to do 
so, that the readers should not remain in ignorance of the true 
cause of some of the defects, unavoidable under the circumstances, 
in those works of Tolstoy which I am now issuing. 


copy many words which she had been unable to decipher 
in the original, and merely indicated them by dots ; 
others, though copied, had obviously been incorrectly 
deciphered, wherefore the meaning of such passages re- 
mains obscure. Some obvious mistakes in the first copy 
were corrected by the Editor, as has been mentioned in 
footnotes. Since the copy which the Editor was com- 
pelled to use was so unsatisfactory, there may be in- 
voluntary mistakes both in the body of the Diary and 
in the footnotes. . , . 

The notes, as in the Diary of his later years, are adapted 
to a wide circle of readers. . . . They, however, con- 
tain only what the Editor regards as the more essential 
biographical and bibliographical information. 

The incompleteness of the comments is due to the fact 
that the Editor was practically unable to have recourse 
to contemporaries who witnessed the years 1840-1860 of 
L. N. Tolstoy's Hfe, as scarcely any of them are now living, 
and there are few printed sources which would throw light 
upon the earliest periods — either childhood or youth — of 
his life. 

The difficulties with which the Editor had to contend 
in his work, as well as his desire to correct any involuntary 
errors he may have made, induce him to address an urgent 
request to all those who are either acquainted with, or 
related to, the author of the Diary, to point out any such 
places that he may make additions or corrections in 
subsequent editions. The Editor would be glad, even 
if the most insignificant mistake or omission in the com- 
ments were pointed out, and grateful for any remark 
which would furnish a correct and exact explanation of 
any doubtful passage in the Diary. 

In connection with the present edition of the first volume 
of the Diary of his Youth the Editor deems it incvimbent 
upon him to express his deep gratitude to all those who 
helped him with advice in the preparation of the volume 
for the press. We are especially indebted to Vsevolod 
Izmailovich Sreznevsky, custodian of the Manuscript De- 


partment of the Library of the Academy of Sciences, and to 
Alfred Ludvigovich Boehm, assistant-hbrarian of the same 
department and bibliographer, for the highly valuable 
information received. We have also been rendered sub- 
stantial aid by private individuals related to, or acquainted 
with, old friends of Tolstoy during the period of his youth, 
namely, Sergey Alexeyevich and Maria Vasilyevna Beer, 
Nikolay Vasilyevich Davydov and Alexander Petrovich 
Mertvago. To all these we offer our heartfelt thanks. 

We also deem it necessary to mention that in the actual 
preparation of this volume for the press the following 
friends took an active part : N. N. Gusev, A. M. Hiryakov, 
K. S. Shokhor-Trotsky, and A. K. Tchertkoff, the last of 
whom has rendered most valuable assistance, having done 
the most difficult and minute research work in the com- 
pilation of the notes. 


7 Lefortovsky pereulok 
Moscow, January, 191 7 


1846 or 1847 1 

March ijth, Kazan. — It is six days since I entered the 
hospital, and six days since I became almost contented. 
Les petites causes produisent les grands effects.'^ [[20]]. 

Yes, I have mounted the step on which I long ago set 
foot, but on to which I had hitherto failed to wriggle my 
body (probably because, thoughtlessly, I had kept putting 
my left foot before my right) . Here I am entirely alone, and 
have no one to disturb me. Here I have no servant, no one 
helps me. Consequently nothing extraneous is able to 
influence my judgment and recollection, and my mental 
activity cannot but develop. 

The chief advantage is the fact that I have come to see 
clearly that the irregular life which the majority of fashion- 
able people take to be an outcome of youth is, really, an 
outcome of early spiritual corruption. The man living 
in society ^ finds solitude as beneficial as the man not 
living in society finds social intercourse. Let a man but 
withdraw from society, and retire into himself, and his 
reason will strip off the spectacles through which he has 
hitherto seen everything in a corrupt light, and cause his 
view of things to undergo such a clarification that he 

1 In the copy at the [Russian] Editor's disposal, made by Countess 
S. A. Tolstoy, there stands here the heading " 1846." But as a 
matter of fact, Tolstoy himself could not remember which of the 
two years comprised the entries in this Diary. Our calculations 
in regard to the date of this Diary are given below in connection 
with the question as to the time of the writing of the second folio 
of the Diary. {Vide Footnote on pp. 26-29). — Ed. 

2 " Small causes produce great effects." — Ed. 

' In my opinion there is no community wherein more good than 
evil exists. Crossed out in the original. — (Copyist.) — Ed. 


will be at a loss to understand how he had failed to per- 
ceive things as they are. Only let reason do its work, 
and it will point out to you your destiny, and furnish you 
with rules with which to enter boldly into society. Every- 
thing conformable with man's prime faculty, reason, will 
be conformable with everything else existent. For the 
reason of the individual human being is a portion of every- 
thing else existent : and a portion cannot disorganize the 
whole. Yet the whole can annul a portion : wherefore 
fashion your reason so as to conform with the whole, the 
source of all things, and not with the mere portion repre- 
sented by human society. That done, your reason will 
fuse with the whole, and society, the portion, will be 
powerless to exercise upon you influence. It is easier to 
write ten volumes of philosophy than to put a single pre- 
cept into practice. 

March i8th. — I have been reading Catherine's Nakaz ^ ; 

1 The Nakaz (literally, " Injunction ") was composed by the 
Empress Catherine II. in 1766, for the benefit of a Commission of 
State officials of various views which she was then convoking. 
The document's aim was (i) to guide the Commission in framing 
a new Ulozheniye, or Code of Laws, which should establish a number 
of " fixed " permanent statutes, as a guarantee both that the 
citizens should not take legal dispensation into their own hands 
and that all citizens should be placed on an equality in respect of 
rights and responsibility before the law ; (2) to express the 
Empress's personal views on rights, whether State, criminal, civil, 
or otherwise. In framing new laws, the Commission was empowered 
to exclude from the Nakaz whatsoever it might deem unsuitable 
to the then conditions of Russian life : and, accordingly, it ex- 
cluded over one-half. In particular did it revise views of Catherine's 
regarding the freedom of the peasantry and the separation of 
legislative authority from judicial. In origin, more than half the 
Nakaz was borrowed from Montesquieu's Spirit of the Laws and 
Beccaria's Crimes and Penalties ; and, as printed in 1767, it was 
divided into twenty chapters and an introduction. 

Originally the greater portion of the document was written in 
French, and the remainder in Russian ; but in the edition issued in 
1770 by the Imperial Academy of Sciences the text was printed par- 
allel-wise in four languages — in Latin, Russian, German, and French. 
The original of Tolstoy's Diary quotes the text in Latin; but for the 
reader's convenience we have appended also a Russian translation, 
having taken the corresponding passages from the version of the 
Nakaz issued by the Imperial Academy of Sciences in 1770. — Ed. 


and inasmuch as I have made it my rule to think over any 
serious work which I may be engaged in reading, and to 
transcribe thence any more notable thoughts, I will here 
record my opinion of the first six chapters of this very 
remarkable production. 
Beginning the Nakaz with instruction, Catherine writes : 

" Religio Christiana docet nos " The Christian religion 

ut alter alteri mutus tantum boni teaches us to do good to one 

faciamus, quantum quidem ius- another so far as lies within our 

que nostrum viribus situm est," capacity." 

From which she deduces the following conclusion : 

" Unumquemque probum et "... It is, or it should be, 

honestum virum viventem in the desire of every honourable 

civitate vel teneri, vel certe in- man in the State to see the whole 

censum iri desiderio, conspiciendi of his country enjoying the ut- 

totam quanta est, patriam suam most possible degree of happi- 

in summo fastigio felicitatis, ness, glory, prosperity, and 

gloriae, beatitudinis et tran- peace." 

This strange incongruity transcends my understanding, 
seeing that, according to the ideas of the Christian religion, 
glory is an object meet for denunciation rather than for 
man's desire. 

Catherine's second deduction, that every man should 
desire to see his neighbour living in peace under the protection 
of the laws, is justifiable enough. 

In Chapter I. there is included a demonstration that 
Russia is a European power. 

In Chapter 11. there is demonstrated the necessity of 
monarchical rule : and the demonstration is the more 
persuasive in that it treats of the monarch in the abstract. 
No matter how great a woman's intellect, always there will 
be found in its manifestations a spice of pettiness and 
inconsistency. For instance, among her proofs of the 
necessity of one sovereign power Catherine includes the 
dictum : 

" Altera haec est ratio. Me- " Another reason is that it is 

lius obedire legibus sub uno better to obey laws under a single 

domino, quam obsequi pluri- ruler than to be subservient unto 

bus." many." 


Again : 

" Monarchini regiminis scopus " The scope and purpose of 
et finis est gloria civium, imperii autocratic rule is the glory of the 
et imperantis." citizens, of the State, and of the 


Chapters III. and IV., " De Tuitione Constitutionum 
Imperii," " Concerning the Security of Constitutions of 
State," contain reflections merely of an ordinary kind. 

In Chapter V., " De Statu Omnium Regni Incolarum," 
" Concerning the Standing of all the Inhabitants of a 
Realm," we see for the first time the philosophical notion 
that only he is happy whose will, though subject to the 
influence of external circumstances, overcomes his passions. 
In reading that chapter I imagined that it would next 
proceed to deduce the idea that law itself is an external 
circumstance able to influence the will, and to cause man 
to become happy through submission to the law ; but 
Catherine passes to the idea of equality possible in the 
State, i.e. of the subjection of all to the same laws. 

The following are Catherine's notions of freedom under 
monarchical rule : ^ 

" Freedom is man's power to do whatsoever he ought to 
do, and to leave undone whatsoever he ought not to do." 

I should like to know what Catherine understands by 
the phrases ought and ought not. If by the phrase " what- 
soever he ought to do " she means a right of nature, it 
follows that freedom can exist only in a State the legis- 
lation of which draws no distinction between natural 
right and positive. In which respect her ideas are correct. 

In support of her opinion, Catherine adduces an ex- 
tremely ingenious proof. Freedom is the right to act 

^ Catherine expresses her conception of freedom by the term 
volnost, and defines it as follows in the Nakaz : 

Chapter V. Article 37. . . . " Freedom can lie in nought else than 
in the possibility of doing what one ought to do, and in not being 
forced to do what one does not wish to do." 

Article 38. " Freedom is the right to do whatsoever the laws 
permit of. But wheresoever a citizen were able to do that which 
is forbidden by the laws, there would exist no freedom, in that 
others would in equal measure be possessed of the same licence." 


according to laws, but_, should a citizen act illegally, he 
will, by the circumstance, confer upon others a right to act 
in similar fashion, and so infringe freedom ! 

" Libertas politica in civibus " Political freedom in citizens 

est tranquillitas animi quae ori- is the peace of mind arising from 

tur ex opinione : unumquemque the belief that each of them is in 

eorum priva frui securitate. Ut the enjoyment of personal se- 

autem, possideant homines ejus- curity. But if men are to 

modi libertatem, leges ita oportet possess this freedom, the laws 

esse comparatas, ne civem civis should be proportioned so that 

timeant, timeant autem omnes one citizen may not stand in fear 

solam vim legum." of another citizen, but all may 

stand in fear of the same laws." 

In Chapter VL there is some theorization on laws in 
general — Catherine beginning by treating of the contents 
of laws, and subsequently offering some lofty reflections 
on the character of legislation : 

" ut immotae semper serven- " For the inviolable observ- 

ter leges, necesse est eas tam ance of laws, it is necessary that 

bonas esse, tam que omnibus re- they should be so good, so 

fertas modis ad attingendum charged with every means con- 

summum, quod mortalibus ha- ducive to the attainment of the 

bere licet, bonum ; ut quisque greatest good for all, that each 

parens illis in ea versetur per- man shall feel beyond doubt 

suasione, contendendum sibi esse assured that, for his own benefit, 

pro viribus suae ipsius utilitatis he must endeavour to preserve 

ergo, ne quis leges has loco suo the laws inviolate." 
moveat subruat ve." 

Further, in speaking of the influence bound to be exercised 
upon legislation by religion, nature, laws, fundamental 
rules, manners, customs, and history, the Nakaz remarks 
that the characters of peoples are made up of virtues and 
vices, and that union of these two categories of qualities 
is what constitutes the happiness or the unhappiness of 

Next, she adduces some examples. In particular is 
her idea of custom a notable one, for she says : A law is 
the enactment of a single legislator : custom is the enact- 
ment of a whole people. Would you effect a revolution 
in the legislation of a people, you must annul a law with 


a law and a custom with a custom. Again : The proper 
means for the extirpation of crime is a legal penalty. The 
proper means for the extirpation of custom is example, 
in that it is through intercourse with other peoples that 
custom is affected. And^ lastly, she remarks : 

" Verbo : omnis poena, quae " In short, every penalty not 
imponitur non urgente neces- imposed of an urgent necessity 
sitateest tyrannica." is tyrannical." 

March igth. — There is beginning to manifest itself in 
me a passion for the sciences. Yet, though this is of all 
human passions the noblest, I am determined not to sur- 
render myself to it exclusively, with total suppression of 
sentiment, neglect of application, and constant endeavour 
to educate my intellect, and to charge my memory, with 
nothing else. For exclusiveness is the prime cause of 
human misery. 

To continue my analysis of Catherine's Nakaz : 
Chapter VII., " De Legibus Particulatim," " Concern- 
ing Laws in Detail," opens with a paradox : 

" Leges quae intra mensuram " Laws exceeding a certain 

boni non consistunt, in causa standard of good bring it about 

sunt, ut nascatur inde malum that there is born immeasurable 

immensum." evil." 

Next, Catherine says that moderation, not severity, 
is what has the power to rule mankind. I would add the 
words, " in monarchies." 

Next, she remarks that a penalty ought to be derived 
from the nature of its crime. (I would again add the 
words, " in monarchies.") History shows us that, though 
the laws of Draco and Lycurgus were in the highest degree 
harsh, and incompatible with the nature of crime, they 
were put up with ; and inasmuch as — as Montesquieu ^ 
truly remarks — the people in a republic is at once sub- 
ordinate and supreme, it follows that, since laws in such 
a case represent an expression of the people's will, they are 

^ Esprit des Lois. Livre ii. 5. 


tolerated by the people, since the people rules itself, and 
there is no need for penalties to be derived from the nature 
of crimes, seeing that in repubhcs the willJof|the citizens 
serves as the standard of punishment. Further, Catherine 
divides crime into four categories — into offences against 
reUgion,^ offences against manners, offences against peace 
and tranquilHty, and offences against the security of the 
citizens ; and, in doing so, she specifies what penalties 
ought to be appUed to the several classes of crime, and so 
arrives at the complex conclusion that a penalty should 
be derived from the essence of its crime. For example, 
she says of the last-named class of crime, that penalties 
should be either banishment, a Hfe for a life, or a mone- 
tary mulct — if the offence has been alienation of property ; 
but also she says that, inasmuch as, for the most part, 
those who make attempts upon the property of others 
possess no property of their own, the pecuniary penalty 
should be replaced with the penalty of death. It is an 
idea altogether unworthy of the great Catherine. For 
how would a delinquent's death compensate a complain- 
ant ? Surely the State should both render compensation 
for loss to the complainant and preserve to the community 
a member who may yet prove useful to it. 

The same fallacious idea is refuted throughout the 
ensuing chapter, which contains a very true demonstration 
of the necessity of moderation in penalties. Also, Catherine 
goes on to speak of the errors sometimes committed 
by a legislator ; remarking that for the abolition of an 
abuse a legislator will employ severity, the usual effect 
of which is to leave behind, when the given abuse has been 
aboUshed, a corresponding vice created by the severity. 
But further on she contradicts herself by saying both that 
it is the height of injustice equally to punish murderers and 

^ There is no such class of crime in existence. — Footnote by the 
author. — In the copy at the Editor's disposal there is no indication 
to which word precisely the author's second remark refers. One 
can only infer that it refers to one of the four kinds of crime indi- 
cated by Catherine ; obviously it must refer to the first of them, 
i.e. to " crime against religion." — Ed. 


thieves and that penalties disfiguring the human body 
ought to be aboHshed. For how can one accept the death 
penalty without also accepting bodily disfigurement ? 
The greatest bodily disfigurement is separation of the body 
from the soul. 

Also the chapter contains a few ideas on criminal police. 

Chapter IX. contains some rules for judicial procedure 
in general. 

She demonstrates the necessity for governments or 
institutions by the fact that thereby there is maintained 
the security of the citizens, and that for this purpose the 
reference of cases to the sovereign in person has been 
made, to use Catherine's own words, as difficult as possible. 

The only reason for placing difficulties in the way of 
an appeal to the sovereign could be either that the sove- 
reign lacked all desire for the security and happiness of 
his citizens ^ or that he recognized his incapacity to 
justify his own laws. 

Next, in setting forth the causes of diversities of opinion 
among judges, the Nakaz says that these arise from the 
circumstance that cases identically similar may be defended 
well or ill, as well as that into everything which passes 
through human hands there must creep abuses. But 
why should citizens suffering from abuses not at least have 
open to them a way of access to the monarch ? 

In the same chapter is a large number of other notable 
reflections : for instance : 

"If we review the judicial formalities encountered in 
respect of the difficulties bound up with every attempt 
to establish rights for the citizen, we find these formalities 
to be over many. On the other hand, if we review the 
same formalities in respect of the civil security bound up 
with them, we find those formalities to be over few, and the 
said difficulties to constitute the measure of the citizen's 
security." Again, take Catherine's opinion on the aboli- 
tion of torture : that torture ought to be employed only 

^ Judges may decide cases irregularly. — Footnote by the author. 


when the offender makes neither a confession nor a denial 
of guilt ; or her opinion that kissings of the cross ^ ought 
seldom to be resorted to^ and her definition of when this 
may be done. 

The idea that criminals arraigned on the graver charges 
ought to be allowed to choose their own judges reveals in 
Catherine a desire to justify monarchical rule, and to show 
that freedom can exist only if laws emanating from the 
monarch are obeyed. Catherine forgets that, if coupled 
with obedience to laws not emanating from the people, 
freedom is not freedom at all. 

The last two articles are borrowed from Montesquieu's 
UEsprit des Lois. In the former Catherine refutes the 
old Roman ordinance that judges may accept gifts on 
condition that the sum of money received does not exceed 
one hundred efims. And she does so on the ground that 
those to whom nothing is tendered desire nothing, whereas 
those to whom aught is tendered desire more, and, finally, 

The second article treats of the point that confiscation 
of acquired property to the monarch ought to be resorted 
to only when insult has been offered to the imperial 
majesty. But, in my opinion, confiscation to the sove- 
reign is never justifiable, in that, apart from the injustice 
of punishing children for the fault of a father, the monarch 
is everything in a State, not a plain citizen, and offences 
against the majesty are therefore offences against the 
sovereign, not against a private individual, and, since 
Catherine's division of crime into four classes places 
offences against the imperial majesty in the fourth class, 
the class of infringing the security of the citizens, the 
penalty for crime against the imperial majesty ought, if 
we desire penalties from the essence of offences, to be 
deprivation of rights, removal from the community, and, 
in general, abrogation of all privileges which the offender 
has hitherto enjoyed under the protection of the laws — 
these rather than confiscation of property to the sove- 
^ The swearing of an oath. — Trans. 


reign, and the more so in that such a penalty tends to 
breed in the people murmuring, and to invite them to 
see in every decree ^ of the kind covetousness rather than 

March 21st, — In Chapter X. are set forth certain funda- 
mental rules and dangerous errors connected with criminal 
law procedure. 

As a beginning, Catherine propounds to herself the 
question, " Whence proceed penalties, and whence the 
right to punish ? " To the first portion of the question 
she returns the reply that penalties proceed from the 
necessity of safeguarding the laws ; while to the latter 
she returns an equally circumspect answer — namely, that 
the right to punish belongs to the laws, which none but 
the monarch, as the representative of the State, may 
make. Indeed, all through this section of the Nakaz we 
see presented to our notice two mutually contradictory 
elements which Catherine vainly endeavours to reconcile. 
The elements are : recognition of the need of constitu- 
tional rule, and self-love, i.e. a desire to figure as the 
unlimited ruler of Russia. For example, while saj^ng 
that, in a monarchical administration, none but the 
monarch should possess legislative authority, Catherine 
accepts the existence of such authority as an axiom 
without giving a thought to its origin. No subordinate 
administration, she says, can impose penalties, since it is 
no more than a portion of a whole. Only a monarch can 
possess such a right, since a monarch is representative of 
the citizens at large. 

But, in unlimited monarchies, is representation of the 
people by the sovereign really an expression of the free 
and individual wills of the citizens in combination ? No ; 
in unlimited monarchies expression of the common will is a 
later stage, a lesser evil ; for if one did not tolerate the evil 
of the monarchy one would be subjected to a greater evil. 

Question II. concerns the powers needed for keeping 

^ The word " crime " stands in the copy ; evidently it is a slip 
of the pen. — Ed. 


an accused person in custody, and for detecting crime. 
In deciding the first section of the question, Catherine 
says that the keeping of an accused person in custody is 
the penalty preceding judgment : yet she is conscious of 
the falsity of the idea, of the injustice of the custom, 
even though she attempts to justify herself by saying 
that a person accused is a person bound to be guilty. But 
why should not a person who, though a hundred times 
more guilty than an accused, has not also been arraigned^ 
merely for the reason that he possesses no enemies, 
not suffer an equal penalty ? In my opinion, to keep an 
accused person in custody is never justifiable : it is a 
supreme injustice, a subjection of innocent and guilty to 
like punishment, and a distinction between rich and poor 
(for it is easy for the rich to find bail, but seldom so for the 

In the same chapter occurs a purely republican idea : 
namely, that hearings of cases should be held in public, 
in order that the citizens may recognize that they, the 
citizens, are secure under the protection of the laws. 

But can there exist security of citizens under the pro- 
tection of laws when not only judicial decrees, but the 
very laws themselves, are alterable at the discretion of 
an autocrat ? 

Later there occurs a notable proposition that condemned 
criminals should be allowed to plead on their own behalf : 
which ordinance, though possessing the high moral aim 
of granting the accused every possible facility for justifica- 
tion of himself, is impossible in positive legislation for the 
reason that it would lead to the two grave abuses of 
criminals tendering false evidence and of criminals attempt- 
ing to defer the hour of their condemnation. 

" Fides testis eo minoris est " The testimony of a witness 

ponderis, quo gravius est male- will be of the less weight accord- 

ficium, et res id circumstantes ing as the offence be graver, and 

minorem prse se ferunt veri- the circumstances less worthy 

similitudinem." of belief." 

The decision of Question III., as to whether torture 


violates equity and opposes the aims of laws, would in our 
own age be a foregone conclusion : but, in view of the then 
prevalence of gross ideas, its decision during Catherine's 
period does credit to her great intellect and exalted 

In general^ the purpose of torture was either to force the 
accused to confess, or to wring from him the names of 
his accomplices, or to extort particulars of former offences, 
or to obtain explanations of contradictions uttered during 
the course of examination. Concerning cases where 
torture is applied, Catherine says of the first that, though 
the aim of torture is differentiation between innocent 
and guilty, it blurs all difference between the two (in point 
of punishment). Of the second she says that the man 
self-accused v/ill find no difficulty in accusing others, and 
that to punish one person for the crimes of several is unjust. 
Of the third she says that torture of this class constitutes 
merely punishment for the fact that the offender might 
have been worse than he is. And of the fourth she says 
that, under examination, innocent and guilty alike are 
apt to stumble over their own words. 

In all these demonstrations there is evidence of abundant 

In connection with Question IV., as to whether penalties 
ought to conform with crimes, Catherine includes among 
her other practical remarks the following : 

" Quamquam leges non pos- " Although the laws may not 

sunt punire consilium seu pro- punish intention, it cannot be 

positum, dici tamen nequit, said that conduct wherewith an 

actionem, per quam crimen in- offence is begun, and wherein 

cipit exsistere quae que revelat there becomes revealed a will to 

voluntatem criminis patrandi, carry that offence into action, 

non mereri poenam, quamvis does not deserve punishment, 

minorem constituta ad punien- even though it be punishment 

dum crimen jam re ipsa perpe- less than that appointed for the 

tratum." same offence when actually 


March 22nd. — In my opinion intention is a mental 
activity not superficially expressed — therefore, never con- 


trary to juridical law, since it is never subject to that 
law. Only to the will is mental activity subject : and the 
will is an unlimited faculty. Catherine says that acts 
which evince criminal intent ought to be punished, but I 
say that such acts ought not to be punished, in that it is 
not they that are harmful, but the intention of the same, 
and that always it is open to the will to convert an evil 
intention into a good intention before the former attains 
substantiation. Usually the moment immediately preced- 
ing the commission of an evil deed is the moment when the 
human conscience emerges most clearly into prominence. 

Next, Catherine says that, as a rule, criminals, if they 
combine, seek to equalize among themselves the risk of 
the offence, and that, for the prevention of such equal- 
ization, principals in a crime ought to be awarded a heavier 
penalty than accomplices. Which is true enough. 

On the other hand, Catherine's remark that, even when 
the committer of a crime receives a payment for its com- 
mission, the penalty ought to be equal for all, is inappUcable 
in positive legislation, however morally just. 

For, from the standpoint of morality, the man who 
bribes a fellow to commit a crime is guiltier than the man 
who plans a crime ; and the man ^ who agrees to commit a 
crime for payment is not so guilty as the man whom desire 
to commit crime has incited to the perpetration of a 
criminal deed. 

On the other hand, from the standpoint of positive law, 
the penalty ought to be commensurate with the advantage 
gained through the crime. 

Catherine's opinion that it should be enacted that an 
informer against his accomplices be not punished is, in my 
view, unjustifiable, however great the advantages con- 
ferred by such an enactment. For, in the first place, the 
man who betrays his word is not virtuous — and always a 
government ought to maintain virtue ; and in the second 

1 Provided that we take into consideration the degree of 
criminahty of the will, and the circumstances under which the 
will has acted, — Footnote by the author. 


place, never ought there to figure in laws an injustice 
(non-punishment of a criminal is an injustice) ; while in 
the third place, positive law, to be perfect, should coincide 
ever with moral law. 

March 2/\th. — I have passed through several phases, 
yet hitherto failed to attain the degree of perfection (in 
my pursuits) which I should like to achieve. In other 
words, I always fail to do that which I have set myself. 
And even what I do, I do indifferently, through omitting 
to whet my memory. Wherefore I will jot down a few 
rules which, if followed, will help me to that end. 

(i) What you have set yourself, carry out without fail 
and at all costs. 

(2) What you do, do well. 

(3) Never refer to a book for what you have forgotten, 
but strive to remember that something for yourself. 

(4) Force your intellect to work always with its greatest 

(5) Always read and think aloud. 

(6) Be not ashamed to tell people who are hindering 
you that they are standing in your way. Give them a 
hint ; and, should they not take the hint (to the effect 
that they are hindering you), beg their pardon and tell 
them so outright. 

Conformably with my second rule, I will without fail 
complete my commentary upon Catherine's Nakaz as a 

Question V., as to the measure of penalties, is decided 
thus by Catherine. The ill done to a criminal by a penalty 
ought to exceed the benefit gained from the crime. 

I do not agree with this. A penalty ought to be com- 
mensurate with the crime. Some might object that nothing 
will ever restrain men from committing crimes, in that 
what a criminal may gain through deciding upon a crime 
will always balance what he may lose thereby. And 
suppose this to be so. If the principle of virtue be domin- 
ant in a man, that man will desire to avoid committing a 
crime more than he^will ^desire to^^commitlt : but if^the 


principle of evil be dominant in him, he will follow that 
principle always, in that it will be the principle natural 
to his character. 

In connection with Question VI., whether the death 
penalty is required in a State, Catherine says : " In a 
weU-ordered State there is no need to impose death upon 
wrong-doers ; but in anarchy this is indispensable." 
Why so ? Again, she declares the death penalty to be 
necessary when the criminal, though deprived of his 
freedom, may prove dangerous to the State. 

But how can a criminal deprived of his freedom prove 
dangerous to the State ? Catherine herself demonstrates 
the futility of the death penalty by quoting the fact that 
strong impressions, such as the spectacle of an execution, 
are never lasting, whereas a certainty that for every crime 
there will follow a penalty is capable of preventing crime. 

Question VII. treats of the penalties to be imposed 
upon the several species of crime. 

Among other remarks, Catherine specifies certain 
penalties which should be imposed upon the crazy, upon 
fanatics, while saying that care should be taken lest upon 
this class of offenders there be inflicted punishment of a 
corporal nature, in that such punishment only serves to 
feed the offender's pride and fanaticism. Which is true. 

Apropos, it has occurred to me that in a State based 
upon abuse (nor only based upon abuse, but itself existent 
as an abuse) ^ justice cannot exist. 

Justice is, with regard to crimes, commensuration of 
a crime with the penalty of that crime : but inasmuch 
as human ideas and sentiments differ among themselves, 
what may prove a most severe punishment for one person 
will prove positively a benefit for another. 

Complete justice, therefore, cannot exist. But what 
are the abuses which Catherine mentions ? They 
are : 

(i) The fact that the multiplicity of a body of citizens 

1 This is the reason why we see the legal enactments of every 
State filled with iniquities. — Footnote by the mithor. 


obliges all crimes ^ among them to be identical, despite 
the sentiments and the ideas of individual citizens. 

(2) The fact that, in modern States, attention is coming 
more and more to be paid to granting citizens powers able 
to render the latter useful to the State, despite the direction 
liable to be taken by those citizens in the utihzation of 
those powers. 

(3) The fact that, whereas the sole sovereign may err 
in allotting to an offender a particular penalty, the people, 
if possessed of supreme power, cannot so err, in that to the 
people is known every member of its body. 

In the decision of these questions some of Catherine's 
theories are worthy of note : for instance, that it is at once 
equitable and expedient that judicial decrees should be 
pronounced as quickly as possible — equitable because 
then the criminal is not tortured with uncertainty, and 
expedient because the penalty follows hard upon the crime. 

Or : the milder penalties may be, the more superfluous 
mercy and pardon will be, in that the laws themselves 
will contain the spirit of mercy. 

Again, she says that, if the laws allot equal punishment 
to grave offences and to trivial, there will result thence 
the dreadful contradiction that the laws will be punishing 
offences created by themselves. 

With regard to the duel, Catherine justly says that 
the best means of abolishing this class of crime is to punish 
the challenger, and to look upon the challenged as innocent. 

With equal justice does Montesquieu declare : " Le 
principe du gouvernement monarchique est I'honneur." ^ 

Also, Catherine treats correctly of the penalty to be 
imposed upon persons purveying forbidden wares. Yet 
I disagree with most of what she says concerning trade 
defaulters, to the effect that bankrupts who can show 
their deficits to be due to adverse circumstances rather 
than to personal remissness ought not to be punished ; 
for, in my opinion, all offences are due to circumstances 

1 Probably a slip of the pen which should read " penalties." — Ed. 

2 " The principle of monarchical rule is honour." — Ed. 


more or less adverse, though justice demands that the 
offenders shall be punished. 

Question VIIL, concerning means of prevention of crime, 
contains fragmentary reflections whereof only a few are 
worthy of note. For example : 

" Vultis ne antevenire crim- " Would you prevent offences ? 

ina ? Facitote, ut leges non tarn Then cause the laws to favour 

vajiis inter cives ordinibus fa- diverse ranks among the citizens 

veant, quam cuique civi singil- less than to favour citizens 

latim." individually." 

Chapter XL contains remarks on the subject of labour ; 
the most notable being a passage wherein Catherine declares 
a State to be a well organized community containing 
those who command and those who obey, and a passage 
wherein she declares it to be impossible to abolish slavery 
at a blow, since it is necessary first to issue ordinances 
concerning the property of slaves. 

In Chapter XIL is mentioned an increase in population ; 
and Catherine truly says that the chief cause of such an 
augmented tendency is poverty. 

As a remedy, she would effect an agrarian apportion- 
ment to all who lack land, and grant them also the means 
of tilling and working it. Excellent too is her dictum 
that it is unjust to award premiums — as is done in other 
countries — to persons who rear from ten to twelve children, 
since this is only a granting of rewards for exceptions, and 
that attention ought, rather, to be paid to the bettering 
of citizens' conditions, that they may be assisted to rear 
children. For why should a father be rewarded ? For 
having been dowered with a special fecundity ? For the 
fact that a fortunate combination of circumstances has 
preserved his twelve children alive ? Or for the fact that 
he has fulfilled the plain duty of a father in fending for his 
offspring ? 

In the same chapter Catherine treats of the products of 
home industries and trading, and truly remarks that 
agriculture is the source of all commerce, and that men 
will care more for chattels actually belonging to themselves 


than for chattels of which at any moment they may be 

For this reason, agriculture and trade will not flourish 
in our own country as long as slavery exists. Not only 
can the man subservient to another never feel assured of 
permanently possessing his property, but also he can never 
feel assured of his own personal fortunes. Later Catherine 
says that to skilled agriculturists and industrial craftsmen 
there should be awarded premiums. 

In my opinion, a State needs to punish evil rather than 
to reward virtue. 

March z^th. — It is not sufficient merely to turn men 
from evil. It is necessary also to incite them to good. 
According to Catherine, nations rendered slothful by 
climate must be trained to activity through the method 
of depriving them of every means of subsistence save 
labour. Also she declares that such nations are prone 
to arrogance, and that that same arrogance may serve to 
extirpate sloth. But nations rendered slothful by climate 
are usually gifted with a fiery temperament ; and, were 
they likewise to be active, their State would be in a worse 
position than ever. 

Catherine would have done better to say " men " 
than " nations " ; and indeed, if her remarks be applied 
to private individuals, they will be found to be true. 
Further on she says that, in thickly populated countries, 
machines replacing manual labour are unnecessary and 
even prejudicial, but that for the manufacture of goods 
for export it is extremely important to utilize machinery, 
since, otherwise, the nations to whom we sell such goods 
would purchase them of other nations. But my view 
wholly contradicts Catherine's. Machinery for manufac- 
turing goods for consumption within the Empire is of 
vastly more use than machinery for manufacturing 
goods for export, in that machinery for manufacturing 
goods of general utility greatly cheapens those goods, and 
improves the condition of the citizens at large ; whereas 
goods for export advantage none but individuals. Thus 


I take the cause of the poverty of the lower classes in 
England to be : (i) the fact that those classes have no 
landed property, and (2) the fact that in England atten- 
tion is devoted wholly to foreign trade. 

But very truly does Catherine say that a monopoly is 
a grave evil for trade. It is, in my opinion as in hers, 
an evil restricting alike commerce, the mercantile class, 
and the citizens at large. For commerce it is an evil in 
that, did no such monopoly exist, there would be em- 
ployed, not the one person, or the one company, engaged 
in the monopoly's particular province, but a large number 
of traders. For the mercantile class it is an evil in that 
it deprives that class of all participation in the particular 
trade concerned. And for the citizens at large it is an evil 
in that always it imposes its own laws. Unfortunately 
in our own country the evil has taken deep root. 

Further, Catherine says that it would be well to organize 
a bank, but that, to prevent the citizens from doubting 
the integrity of that bank, the institutions ought to be 
estabhshed under the auspices of some charitable organ- 
ization. Many other ideas of Catherine's are equally 
curious. For instance, she keeps seeking to show that, 
though a monarch is Hmited by nothing external, he is 
limited at least by his own conscience. Yet a monarch 
who, despite nature's laws, was to look upon himself as 
unlimited would, ipso facto, lack a conscience, and be 
limited by what he did not possess ! 

Next, Catherine attempts to show that neither a mon- 
arch nor his nobles ought to engage in commerce. That 
a monarch ought not to engage in commerce is clear enough, 
seeing that, even without trading, he is able to possess 
himself of everything that the State contains — if such be 
his desire. 

But why should our Russian nobles not trade ? If our 
aristocracy were one that limited the monarchy, that 
aristocracy would have work to do without trading ; but, 
as it is, we possess no such aristocracy — our aristocracy 
is a stock disappearing, almost disappeared, through 


poverty, and that poverty is come of the fact that always 
our nobles have been ashamed to engage in trade. 

God grant that even in our day our nobles may come 
to understand their high calling : which is to strengthen 
themselves. For what supports a despotism ? Either 
lack of enlightenment among the people or lack of strength 
on the part of the oppressed portion of the population. 

Further on in the chapter are notable reflections on the 
fact that the law adopted by the monarchs of certain 
states for empowering themselves to seize the property of 
a foreigner deceased within their dominions, or the cargo 
of a ship wrecked within the same, is inhuman and unjust ; 
also on the fact that a government ought to assist its sick 
and aged craftsmen, with their orphans. 

In Chapter XIV. there is nothing in particular save a 
few remarks on the family — one of them to the effect that 
a State ought to be organized like a large family whereof 
it is a portion. Personally, I should say vice-versa. 

In Chapter XV. mention is made of the nobility^ which 
Catherine defines, with its duties. The latter she takes 
to be the defence of the country and the administration 
of justice. 

As the order's two fundamental principles she selects 
virtue and honour. 

Montesquieu recognized only honour as the basis 
(principe) of a monarchical administration ; but Catherine 
adds to this virtue. True, virtue might be adopted as the 
basis of a monarchical administration ; but history shows 
us that this has never been done. 

Remarkable, also, is Catherine's idea that no one can 
deprive a nobleman of the rights of his order if he be 
worthy of the same. In conclusion, she says of the nobility 
that the right to enjoy honours and eminence belongs to 
none but those whose forefathers have been worthy of 
honours and eminence. 

After Krylov's ^ fable of the geese, there remains nothing 
to be said in answer to this fallacious idea. 

1 Ivan Andreyevich Krylov (1768-1844), writer of fables. — Ed. 


Chapter XVL treats of the middle class : to which 
belong (i) craftsmen, (2) traders, (3) scholars, (4) civil and 
military officials who do not rank as nobles, and, in general, 
all who are neither nobles nor agriculturists. 

Chapter XVIL treats of towns. In it there is nothing 

Chapter XVI IL contains some ordinary ideas on suc- 
cession. The following, perhaps, is worthy of note. 
According to Catherine, rights of succession ought to be 
limited by law, lest otherwise a portion of the citizens 
should come to a poverty which might prove dangerous 
to the State : to which end the best law would be equal 
division of property, when " tillage of the land would 
attain its best possible condition." 

In the same chapter is a remarkable theory that if a 
State devotes its chief care to the welfare of children it 
should appoint mothers guardian over minors, but that if 
a State devotes its chief care to the property of minors, 
it should appoint nearest heirs as guardians. Person- 
ally I believe that in any case it were better to appoint 
mothers, and not heirs, since to meet a man free from 
avarice is as rare a thing as to meet a woman able 
to understand business, and to administer property ; and 
whereas a man of avarice might act to the detriment of 
his ward, a woman ignorant of business might meet with 
a man whose aid might be enHsted for administering a 
minor's heritage. 

In Chapter XIX. are discussed the style and format of 
the proposed compendium of laws. 

Such a compendium, Catherine declares, ought to con- 
sist of three portions : (i) of laws, (2) of temporary regula- 
tions, and (3) of decrees. The division is wholly without 
meaning, though Catherine's notion that " laws ought 
not to be vicious, in that they are fashioned to punish 
vice," is lofty enough. Also, it is true that laws which 
prescribe monetary mulcts should periodically be changed, 
in that the value of money itself keeps undergoing change : 
but, in general, it may be remarked that, from Chapter XII. 


onwards, the Nakaz is replete with words more than 

March 26th. — Chapter XX. comprises various articles 
calling for explanation. At first, Catherine's subject is 
crime in contumely of the imperial majesty — a class of 
crime constituted of conjunction of words with action 
aspiring to do injury to the monarch or to the monarchy. 
For example, if a citizen repairs to the market-place, and 
there stirs up the populace with exhortations, he will be 
punishable, not for the words, but for the action whereof 
those words represent either the inception or the result. 
Yet the difficulty of obtaining actual proof in this class 
of crime renders speeches adverse to the government 
meet to be punished, not with death — as^ in general, are 
offences against the imperial majesty — but with a correc- 
tional penalty. On the other hand, writings of similar 
tendency should be awarded the capital penalty.^ 

^ In view of the illegibility of the copy of the Diary at the Editor's 
disposal, as well as of its non-reliability in the matter of accuracy, 
it might be well to adduce here the corresponding passages from 
Chapter XX. of the Nakaz. 

Chapter XX. Article 480. " Words combined with action assume 
the character of such action. A man entering a place of public 
assembly, and inciting the subjects to revolt, will be guilty of con- 
tumely of the imperial majesty, in that his words, combined with 
action, will borrow of the latter. In such a case punishment 
should be, not for the words, but for the action produced by, and 
accompanying, the words. Never should words be imputed for 
crime save when they prepare, or are joined with, or follow upon, 
unlawful action. He who of words fashions a crime meet for the 
penalty of death does but pervert and refute : for words should be 
taken only for evidence of a crime meet for that penalty." 

Article 481. " Nought renders crime in contumely of the imperial 
majesty more dependent upon import and the will of another 
than when its content is indiscreet words. So much are utterances 
subject to interpretation, so great is the difference between indis- 
cretion and malice, so small is the distinction between terms used 
out of indiscretion, and terms used out of malice, that never should 
the law subject words to the penalty of death — at least not without 
defining the words for which that penalty is awarded." 

Article 482. " Words are not a matter constituting crime. 
Frequently they signify nothing in themselves save as regards the 
tone in which they are uttered. Frequently, also, in repeating 
the same words, men impart to those words different meanings. 


The ordinance shows us plainly that in a despotic ad- 
ministration the monarch cannot depend upon the loyalty 
of his citizens. Why so ? Because, since a despotism 
does not include an agreement whereby a single person 
may possess rights, and the citizens corresponding obliga- 
tions, or vice-versa, while authority is wielded solely by 
the one person through the medium of force ; since, I say, 
this obtains, there cannot_, in that a despotism does not in- 
clude an agreement of the type named^ exist obligations on 
the part of the citizens. Hence^ for the support of authority 
which rests upon superior force, upon abuse, the best 
means is force, abuse — or, as Catherine here expresses it, 
the imposition of a penalty for expression of thought. 

Very remarkable is the idea contained in the same 
chapter, that freedom of the press tends to develop the 
spirit of the people. And in this chapter [XX.] I find 
also two curious items which I should hesitate to ascribe 
to Catherine herself : namely, (i) that she seems to recognize 
the exist encee of witchcraft, and (2) that she says that 
the Orthodox Faith is the only true faith, and ail other 
Christians are wandering sheep. 

Next we encounter a reflection which, taken from Mon- 
tesquieu direct, refers to the stage when a republic under- 
goes dissolution. That stage is reached, according to 
Catherine, when the substance of individual citizens ceases 
to belong to the people at large, and the individual citizen 
comes to care more for his property than he does for the 

Meaning is dependent upon the link which unites words with other 
matters. Sometimes, also, silence expresses more than any 
utterance. Nought is there wherein so much double import can 
lurk as in all this. How, then, shall there be fashioned of words 
an ofEence so great as lese-majeste ? And how shall words be 
punished even as is action ? True, I would not attempt to lessen 
the displeasure bound to be felt against all who would defile the 
fame of their sovereign ; yet still will I say that, in such cases, a 
correctional penalty will be more seemly than will an indictment 
for Use-majesU, which is a matter terrible even for the innocent." 

Article 483. " Writings are matters of less swift passage than 
words. Yet when they lead not to crime in contumely of the 
imperial majesty they cannot be a matter constituting crime in 
contumely of the imperial majesty." 


property of the State. This reflection, I say, Catherine 
borrows and apphes to a monarchy in complete forgetful- 
ness that the causes which incite citizens to prove them- 
selves useful to monarchical States are not general, of 
State, but private, in that the citizens, through lacking any 
share in the administration, lack also any desire to serve 
the government ; still more, to sacrifice the individual 
to the general. 

Next follows a wonderful comparison of State adminis- 
tration with a machine. The simpler it be, says Catherine, 
the better. 

Later she says that only the sovereign ought to possess 
a right to pardon, but that a definition of those who should 
be pardoned is an impossibility — it is a point which must 
be determined by the monarch's own feelings. In my 
opinion . . . ^ are never justifiable. In the first place, 
they offer to offenders a hope of escaping punishment : 
in the second place^ they constitute a cunning device of 
the Supreme Power for legalizing its action against the 

In a very simple conclusion to the Nakaz Catherine 
declares that she will expire of disappointment if the 
compendium of laws which she is commanding to be 
composed shall fail to be completed, or, in the future, 
there shall exist any nation happier and more glorious 
than the Russian. 

In an appendix to Chapter XX. is mentioned the question 
of police, and Catherine very properly draws a distinction 
between crimes and police offences. The former, she says, 
should be subject to the power of the law, but the latter 
only to the law's authority, since the chief aim of punish- 
ing the former category is to rescue society from the 
criminal, and the chief aim of punishing the latter is to 
correct the offender, and thus to preserve to society a 
good citizen. 

Chapter XXII., the last section of Catherine's Nakaz, 
and one of the best passages in the work, treats of State 
^ Dots in the copy at the Editor's disposal. — Ed. 


incomings and outgoings, and begins: "Every man 
should say to himself : ' I am a human being, and nothing 
human looks upon itself as alien.' " In other words, 
(i) Man should never disregard his fellow, and (2) every- 
thing that is done in the world ought to be done by man 
for man's benefit.^ 

From the same idea Catherine deduces that, every man 
possessing needs, great indeed must be the needs of the 
State ; also, that citizens should refrain from murmuring 
against a government which takes upon itself the duty 
of serving the people's common needs — that, on the con- 
trary, they ought to thank that government. 

Among State outgoings Catherine places pomp of the 
imperial throne. Yet, though we may suppose it the 
citizens' duty in a monarchical realm to support the 
throne, pomp of throne should exist in none but a despot- 
ism, seeing that in the latter alone does the monarch 
represent an earthly god, and the distance between auto- 
crat and people needs to be made as great as possible, if 
the despotism is to continue to exist. 

Next Catherine propounds questions regarding the 
State's income, and includes the remarkable question of 
how it may be brought about that the citizens shall find 
tax-payment no burden. She decides it thus. Taxes 
should be distributed equally among all the citizens, and 
increase pari passu with luxury in the State. At the 
same time, nothing so causes taxes to weigh upon the 
citizens as monopolies. The property of the State she 
divides into theoretical and actual, natural and acquired ; 
such actual property she subdivides into movable and 
immovable ; and these, again, she subdivides into pro- 
perty of State and property of individuals. 

Next, Catherine divides financial administration into 
pohtical and economic, with, as object, in the case of 
political administration, knowledge of the standing, call- 
ing, and occupation of each person, with utilization 

^ In the text of the Nakaz this thought is expressed in sHghtly 
different words. — Ed. 


thereof by the State, and, in the case of economic adminis- 
tration, acquisition of revenue, direction of expenditure, 
and supervision of the relation between the two. 

In general we may say of Catherine's Nakaz, as I have 
said already, that it contains, throughout, two contra- 
dictory principles : that of the revolutionary spirit to 
which, at that period, all Europe was subject, and that of 
the despotic spirit which Catherine's vanity would not 
permit her altogether to renounce. True, at least she 
recognizes the excellence of the former ; but it is the 
latter that predominates in the Nakaz ; and though she 
borrowed republican ideas largely from Montesquieu, she 
used them (as Meyer ^ truly remarks) as a means of justifying 
despotism, and for the most part unsuccessfully. Hence 
the Nakaz contains numerous ideas deficient in or alto- 
gether destitute of proof, republican ideas allied to ideas 
of the most autocratic nature, and deductions wholly anti- 

The very first glance shows the Nakaz to be the fruit 
of a woman's intellect which, for all its acumen and lofty 
notions and love of truth was powerless to suppress the 
petty vanity which obscures its high merits. 

In short, the production contains more littleness than 
fundamentahty, more wit than reason, more vanity than 
love of verity, more selfishness than love of the people. 

The latter tendency is prominent throughout the Nakaz, 
which contains only ordinances affecting public right, 
i.e. the relations of the State (of Catherine herself, as 
representing the State), but not affecting civil right, i.e. 
the relations between one and another citizen. 

In conclusion it might be said that the Nakaz confers 
upon Catherine more fame than it conferred upon Russia 

^ Dmitry Ivanovich Meyer (1819-56), from 1845 to 1855 pro- 
fessor of civil law, and, from 1853, dean of the faculty of law, in 
the University of Kazan. — Ed, 

2 In the copy of the original utilized by the Editor there begins 
here a new folio, marked, " Year not specified. Leo Nikolayevich 
himself used to refer it to the same year — 1846. — Copyist." 


April "jth, 8 a.m., 1847. — Until recently I never kept a 
diary, for I never could see the use of one ; but, now that 
I am developing my faculties, a diary will help me to judge 

This, the first folio of the Diary, with the earlier portion of the 
second (to April 19th) must have been inscribed during Tolstoy's 
residence as a student in the University of Kazan ; and for further 
elucidation of the question of the period of inscription of the two 
folios let us turn first to details given in N, N. Thirsov's article, 
" L. N. Tolstoy at the University of Kazan" (The Golos Minuv- 
shavo, No. 12, 1915 ; the author made use of the archives of the 
Kazan University), 

" Documents belonging to the Governing Body of the University 
and dated October 5th, 1844, render it clear that Count L. Tolstoy's 
reception into the first division of the faculty of philosophy, section 
of Arabic -Turkish literature, took place on October 3rd." . . . 
Later we read in Thirsov that " in October of the Academic year 
1845-46 L, N. Tolstoy passed into the juridical faculty, and, at 
the close of the same year — according to L. N. Tolstoy's own later 
account — ' began for the first time to work in earnest.' " 

While in this faculty, Tolstoy embarked upon his first purely 
scientific exercise upon a theme set him by Meyer, professor of 
civil lav7 : that of " comparing Montesquieu's UEsprit des Lois 
with Catherine's Nakaz.'' And in advanced old age Tolstoy de- 
clared that the work " very greatly interested me." 

In his memoirs^ Count L. N. Tolstoy and his Student Days, 
Zagoskin points out that according to Tolstoy's last examination 
report (rather his non-success in the half-yearly examination of 
January, 1847) Meyer, professor of the history of Russian Civil 
Law, must have been on the list of preceptors in Course II., but not, 
apparently, on that of lecturers in Course I., which affords us a 
certain basisfor supposing that it was in Course 11., i.e. duringthe aca- 
demic year 1846-47, that Tolstoy studied the Nakaz ; and inasmuch 
as his analysis of the document is marked in the Diary " March " 
it is most probable that the entries therein refer to March 1847 : 
whereas if we suppose his scientific labours upon the Nakaz to have 
been carried out in 1846 {i.e. before the examination for passage 
from Course I. to Course II.) we should be forced to set back the 
analysis of Catherine's production to a later period, and to represent 
that analysis as having been a wholly independent piece of work. 

Also, if we reckon up in the Diary the three months March-May, 
it will become additionally evident that the second folio was in- 
scribed in the same year as the first, and constitutes a direct con- 
tinuation of the latter. The entry for April 17th records Tolstoy's 
return from the hospital, which institution he appears to have 
entered on March loth, while the entry for April 7th, to the effect 
that " never have I possessed a diary," would have found no place 
in the Diary had the first folio been separated from the second by 
an interval so large as a year ; and since the commentary on the 
Nakaz was carried out in compliance with Tolstoy's rule " to 


of that development's progress. Hence the diary must 
contain a table of rules. Also, it must define my future 

transcribe any notable thoughts " from serious works perused by 
him {vide entry for March 1 8th) his first reading of the Nakaz must 
have been performed at an earher period, and possibly, in pursuance 
of an injunction from Professor Meyer — though only as regards 
the " reading " itself, seeing that no mention is made of any previous 
scriptory work done for the Professor. Again, the circumstance 
that originally Tolstoy proposed to limit his commentary to the 
first six chapters of the Nakaz is explainable by the supposition 
that herein alone lay the scope of the university exercise already set, 
since the six chapters in question are devoted to general questions 
of State, State authority, legislature, and custom, and, therefore, 
present a theme suitable for the energies of a student just entering 
upon the study of Russian law. However, so much was Tolstoy's 
interest caught by his labours on the Nakaz that he ceased to limit 
himself to the six chapters set apart, and, in passing to the 
seventh, remarks on the " passion for sciences " awakening in 
him (entry for March 19th). Yet another passage in the Diary 
sheds a peculiar light upon the reason why the original limits of 
the commentary became extended : to the effect that, desirous 
of attaining perfection in his pursuits, Tolstoy, while he was at the 
hospital, worked out a series of rules, such as : " to do well whatso- 
ever I may carry out " : after which he declares that " conformably 
with my second rule, I wish to complete my commentary upon 
Catherine's Nakaz in its entirety." (Entry for March 24th.) 

A few years later there occurs among the entries in the Diary 
of the Caucasus (January 4th, 1854) another mention of th.e Nakaz. 
Noting, at the close of the day, his errors and " digressions " from 
his rules of conduct Tolstoy says : "I lied when I related that I 
had presumably composed a dissertation on Catherine's ' Nakaz' " (the 
italics are the Editor's) . Which confession confirms our assumption 
that his labours in that connection were neither a dissertation nor 
the usual student's task, but an independent analysis of a work 
which happened to have caught his fancy. In point of time, the 
close of Tolstoy's labours on the Nakaz coincided with his decision 
to leave the University for his country estate, since the petition for 
permission to retire from the former institution was presented on 
April I2th, 1847, (Fi^e Appendix, "A Brief Survey . . .") 

Concerning his pending departure from the University further 
testimony is to be found in his intention " a week hence " to go 
into the country (April yth), but evidently for a prolonged period, 
since he asks himself the question, " What is to be the aim of my 
life in the country during the next two years ? " and sets himself the 
task of " studying the whole course of the juridical sciences required 
for the final examination at the University." (Entry for April 
17th — the italics are the Editor's.) Also, his retirement into the 
country seems to him to be going to be "a passage from the life 


A week from the present time I shall be leaving for the 
country. What am I to do during that week ? I must 
study EngHsh, Latin, and Roman Law and ordinances. 
In particular will I read The Vicar of Wakefield} and lay 
to heart all the unfamiliar words therein, and also go 
through the first part of the grammar. Likewise I will 
read, to my profit, and as proposed — both for the sake 
of the language and for the sake of Roman law — the first 
portion of the Institutions .^ Also I will complete my 
rules for inward development, and replay the game of 
chess lost to L. 

April 8th, 6 a.m. — Hope is bad for the happy man, and 
good for the unhappy. I have gained much since the 
day when first I began to occupy myself. Yet I am 
greatly dissatisfied, for the further one goes in the task 
of perfecting oneself, the more faults are detected. 
Well has Socrates ^ said that the supreme stage in man's 

of a student to the life of a landowner " (the same entry) ; while 
additional support of the theory that Tolstoy's departure from the 
University took place during the year of the compilation of the 
second folio of his Diary is found in the coincidence of the last 
entry in that folio=— that for April 19th — with the date of the of&cial 
document authorizing his departure; the date of the document 
also being " April 19th." 

All these considerations have led us to presume both the first 
and the second folio to refer to 1847. 

Only if it were admitted that a resolve to leave the University first 
arose in Tolstoy's mind during the year 1846, but failed to attain 
substantiation for the reason, perhaps, that, contrary to his fears, 
there then befell him an opportunity of pjassing into Course II., 
could both folios be referred to 1846. But it is an assumption ad- 
missible only with an effort. 

For the rest, the absence of any decisive indication in favour of 
the one year or of the other has decided the Editor to retain at the 
head of the Diary both the one and the other of the disputed dates. — 

1 The Vicar of Wakefield, a novel by Oliver Goldsmith, and a 
work which Tolstoy valued his life long, and was now, probably, 
reading in English. — Ed. 

* The Institutions. In the copy at the Editor's disposal there 
stands at this point the word Instruktsiyi, evidently in error. 
The Institutions form the first portion of Justinian's code of laws 
{Corpus Jures Civiles), and the work with which acquaintance with 
Roman jurisprudence usually begins. — Ed. 

^ Socrates (469-399 b.c), a philosopher of ancient Greece in 


perfection is knowledge that there is nothing of which he 
has knowledge. 

April gth, 6 a.m. — I am much pleased with myself on 
account of yesterday. I am beginning to acquire a physical 
will, though the mental is still very weak. Patience and 
application, and I am sure I shall attain all that I desire. 

April lyth. — Of late I have failed to conduct myself as 
I should wish ; of which the cause has been, in the first 
place, my removal from the hospital, and, in the second 
place, the company in which I am beginning increasingly 
to move. Hence I conclude that any change of position 
ought to lead me very gravely to consider how external 
circumstances may influence me under new conditions, 
and how best I can obviate that influence. 

If my removal from the hospital could influence me 
to such an extent, what will be the influence of my removal 
from the life of a student to the life of a landowner ? 

Some change in my mode of life must result ; yet that 
change must not come of an external circumstance — 
rather, of a movement of spirit : wherefore I keep finding 
myself confronted with the question, " What is the aim 
of man's life ? " and, no matter what result my reflections 
reach, no matter what I take to be life's source, I invariably 
arrive at the conclusion that the purpose of our human 
existence is to afford a maximum of help towards the 
universal development of everything that exists. 

If I meditate as I contemplate nature, I perceive every- 
thing in nature to be in constant process of development, 
and each of nature's constituent portions to be uncon- 
sciously contributing towards the development of others. 
But man is, though a like portion of nature, a portion 
gifted with consciousness, and therefore bound, like the 

whose personality and doctrines Tolstoy took a great interest, and 
for whom, in old age, he felt deep sympathy. 

In 1885, in the belief that the diffusion of Socrates' views would 
prove of great benefit to the people, Tolstoy eagerly collaborated 
in the composition of a pamphlet on Socrates for the " Posrednik " 
publications. It is not yet out of date and still commands con- 
siderable success amongst the common people. — Ed. 


other portions, to make conscious use of his spiritual 
faculties in striving for the development of everything 

If I meditate as I contemplate history, I perceive the 
whole human race to be for ever aspiring towards the 
same end. 

If I meditate on reason, if I pass in review man's spiritual 
faculties, I find the soul of every man to have in it the same 
unconscious aspiration, the same imperative demand of 
the spirit. 

If I meditate with an eye upon the history of philosophy, 
I find everywhere, and always, men to have arrived at the 
conclusion that the aim of human life is the universal 
development of humanity. 

If I meditate with an eye upon theology, I find almost 
every nation to be cognizant of a perfect existence towards 
which it is the aim of mankind to aspire. 

So I too shall be safe in taking for the aim of my exist- 
ence a conscious striving for the universal development 
of ever3rthing existent. I should be the unhappiest of 
mortals if I could not find a purpose for my life, and a 
purpose at once universal and useful — useful because 
development will enable my immortal soul to pass natur- 
ally into an existence that will be at once superior and 
akin to this one. Wherefore henceforth all my life must 
be a constant, active striving for that one purpose. 

Next I would ask : of what is my life's purpose to con- 
sist during the coming two years in the country ? (i) of 
studying the entire course of juridical science as required 
for the final examination at the University ; (2) of studying 
practical medicine, with a portion of theoretical ; (3) of 
studying languages — French, Russian, German, English, 
Italian, and Latin ; (4) of studying rural industry, practical 
as well as theoretical ; (5) of studying history, geography, 
and statistics ; (6) of stud5dng mathematics, the gymnasium 
course ; (7) of writing a dissertation ; (8) of attaining the 
highest possible perfection in music and art ; (9) of framing 
a list of rules ; (10) of acquiring knowledge of the natural 


sciences ; and (ii) of writing treatises on the various 
subjects which I may be studying. 

April i8th. — I have drawn up a number of rules which I 
should like to follow in their entirety if my strength be 
not too weak. However, I will set myself one rule, and 
add to it another when I shall have grown used to following 
the first. Rule No. i shall be : Fulfil everything which 
you have set yourself. — Hitherto I have failed to keep this. 

April igfh. — To-day I rose very late, and only at two 
o'clock decided what I should do during the day. 

June 14th, Yasnaya Polyana. — After nearly two months 
I resume my pen to continue my diary. How difficult 
it is for a man who is under the influence of what is bad to 
develop into that which is good ! Suppose there existed 
neither good influences nor bad : in every human being 
the spirit would rise superior to the material. But the 
spirit develops in different ways, or else its development 
in each separate being constitutes a portion of the universal 
development, or else its decline in individual human beings 
reinforces its growth in the universal development. 

June i^th. — Yesterday I was in a very good humour 
indeed, and should have remained so until evening 
had not the arrival of Dunechka ^ and her husband pro- 
duced upon me an impression which caused me involun- 
tarily to rob myself of the happiness of feeling contented. 

* A ward of Tolstoy's father, and the illegitimate daughter of a 
wealthy bachelor landowner named Temyashev, a distant kins- 
man of the Tolstoy family through the Gorchakovs, 

Tolstoy has described her in his " Reminiscences of My Child- 
hood " (chap, vii., p. 275, vol. i., Tolstoy's Complete Works, edited 
by P. Biryukov, 1913). P. I. Biryukov assumes that this same 
Dunechka is described in the story " Childhood and Boyhood " 
in the person of Katenka {vide Tolstoy's Life, vol. i., p. 76). But 
the biographer's assumption in this case appears to us erroneous 
and contradictory to what Tolstoy himself said concerning this 
Dunechka Temyashev in his " Reminiscences of My Childhood " 
from which an extract is given in Biryukov's Life {vide vol. i., p. 
79) : " She was not a clever, but a simple, good, girl and, above all, 
chaste to such a degree that we boys never had any other relations 
with her than those of a brother." — Ed. 


June i6th. — Shall I ever reach the point of being depend- 
ent upon no extraneous circumstance ? That would be, 
in my opinion, immense perfection, since in the man 
independent of any extraneous influence the spirit neces- 
sarily takes precedence of matter, and he attains his 

I am becoming familiar with my self-appointed rule i : 
wherefore to-day I will set myself another rule — as follows : 
Regard feminine society as an inevitable evil of social life, 
and, in so far as you can, avoid it. From whom, indeed, 
do we learn voluptuousness, effeminacy, frivolity in every- 
thing, and many another vice, if not from women ? Who 
is responsible for the fact that we lose such feelings inherent 
in us as courage, fortitude, prudence, equity, and so forth, 
if not woman ? Woman is more receptive than man, and, 
during the ages of virtue, was better than we were ; but 
now, in this age of corruption and vice, she has become 


June i^th, 1850, Yasnaya Polyana. — ^Again I betake 
myself to my diary — again, and with fresh ardour and a 
fresh purpose. But for the what-th time ? I do not re- 
member. Nevertheless, even if I cast it aside again, a 
diary will be a pleasant occupation, and agreeable in the 
re-reading, even as are former diaries. 

So many thoughts enter my head, and some of them 
appear very remarkable ; they need but to be scrutinized 
to issue as nonsense. A few, however, are sensible, and it 
is for their sake that a diary is required, since a diary 
enables one to judge of oneself. 

^ In the copy a note is made at this point to the effect that here 
begins a new foHo, i.e. foHo 3. 

After spending the summer of 1847 at Yasnaya Polyana, Tolstoy 
departed for St Petersburg, where, early in 1848, he entered for 
his graduate's examination. Concerning this period of his life he 
has related as follows to Loewenfeld (a German translator and 
biographer) : "I found life in the country with my Aunt Er- 
golsky very pleasant : yet soon a vague longing for knowledge 
drew me away. This was in 1848. Nevertheless I was in doubt 
as to what I siiould undertake. In Petersburg there lay open to 
me two roads : either I could enter the army, and share in the 
Hungarian campaign, or I could bring my university studies to a 
close and, subsequently, obtain a post in the Civil Service. Ulti- 
mately my hunger for knowledge overcame my ambition, and once 
more I fell to work upon my studies, and passed two examinations 
in criminal law. But with that all my good intentions came to 
an end. Spring broke, and again the charm of a country life drew 
me to my estate" (Biryukov's Life, vol. i., pp. 159-60). Con- 
cerning this period of his life at St Petersburg, vide his letters to 
his brother S. N., dated Feb. 13 — May, 1848 (Complete Works, 
vol. xxi., pp. 101-3), Biryukov writes : " In the Spring (1848) 
he returns to Yasnaya Polyana and brings with him from St 
Petersburg a talented musician, a German who drinks ; Tolstoy 
had made his acquaintance at Perfilyev's, his friend's, and gave 
himself up passionately to music. This German's name was 
Rudolf" {Life, vol. i., p. 163). — Ed. 


Also the fact that I find it necessary to determine my 
occupations beforehand renders a diary additionally 
indispensable. Indeed, I should Uke to acquire a habit of 
predetermining my form of Hfe not merely for a day, but 
for a year, several years, the whole of the rest of my exist- 
ence. This, however, will be too difficult for me, almost 
impossible. Nevertheless I will make the attempt — at 
first for a day in advance, then for two. In fact, as many 
days as I may remain loyal to my resolutions, for so many 
days will I plan beforehand. 

By resolutions I mean, not moral rules independent 
of time and place, rules which never change and which 
I compile separately, but resolutions temporal and local, 
rules as to where and for how long I will abide, and when 
and wherewithal I will employ myself. 

There may arise occasions when these resolutions may 
need to be altered ; but if so, I will permit myself to make 
deviations only in accordance with rule, and, on all such 
occasions, explain their causes in this diary. 

For June 15th. From 9 to 10, bathing and a walk ; 
from 10 to 12, music ; from 6 to 8, letters ; from 8 to 10, 
estate affairs and office. 

At times the three years past which I have spent so 
loosely seem to me engaging, poetical, and, to a certain 
extent, useful : wherefore I will try frankly, and in as 
much detail as possible, to recall and record them. This 
will constitute a third purpose for a diary. 

June i^th. — Yesterday I carried out all that I had set 

For June 15th. From 4.30 to 6, out in the fields, estate 
affairs, and bathing ; from 6 to 8, continuation of my 
diary ; from 8 to 10, a method of music ^ ; from 10 to 12, 

1 Tolstoy's note On Music first printed in the Tolstoy Annual 
for 1 91 3 (published by the Tolstoy Museum Society at St Peters- 
burg, pp. 12-14). We reprint it in toto as Appendix No. I. (at the 
end of the book) . 

The author further expressed his ideas on music in a chapter 
of the story Childhood, which he himself deleted. Appendix : 
Passages contained in the original version of the story but deleted 
by the author. — Ed. 


the piano ; from 12 to 6, luncheon, a rest, and dinner ; 
from 6 to 8, rules and reading ; from 8 to 10, a bath and 
estate affairs. 

June 16th. — Yesterday I carried out badly what I had 
set myself ; but why I will explain later. 

For June i6th. From 5.30 to 7, to bathe and be afield ; 
7-10, the diary ; 10-12, play ; 12-6, luncheon, a rest and 
dinner ; 6-8, write on music ; from 8 to 10, estate 

June lyth. — Rising at 8 o'clock, I did nothing until 10. 
From 10 to 12 I read and posted my diary ; from 12 to 6 
I had luncheon and a rest — then reflected on music, and 
dined ; 6-8, music ; 8-10, estate affairs. 

This is the second day when I have been indolent and 
failed to carry out all that I had set myself. Why so ? 
I do not know. However, I must not despair : I will 
force myself to be active. Yesterday, in addition to leav- 
ing undone what I had set myself, I betrayed my rule. 

I have noticed that when I am in an apathetic frame of 
mind a philosophical work never fails to rouse me to 
activity. At the moment I am reading Montesquieu. I 
think that I grow indolent because I have undertaken too 
much, and keep feeling that I cannot advance from one 
occupation to another so long as the first one be undone. 
Yet,, not to excuse myself on the score of having omitted 
to frame a system, I will enter in my diary a few general 
rules, with a few relating to music and estate management. 

One of my general rules : That which one has set oneself 
to do, one should not relinquish on the ground of absence of 
mindlor distraction, hut, on the contrary, take in hand for the 
sake of appearances. Thoughts will then result. 

For example, if one shall have planned to write out 
rules, one should take one's notebook, sit down to the table, 
and not rise thence till one has both begun and finished 
one's task. 

Rules with regard to music. 

Daily to play (i) the 24 scales, (2) the whole series of chords 


and arpeggios m two octaves, (3) the turns, (4) the chromatic 
scale. Also, to study a piece, and not to go further so long 
as there remains a single passage over which one stumbles. 
Also, to transpose each cadenza into the remaining keys, and 
then to study it, and daily to play at least four pages of music, 
hut not to go further so long as there he not discovered the true 
doigte of the same. 

Rules with regard to estate-management : 

To think over every order in point of utility or harm^ 
Daily to exercise personal supervision over every departmeni 
of the establishment. Always to he slow in issuing orders, 
in censuring, and in punishing. 

To remember that in estate-management nothing is so 
requisite as patience. 

Never to cancel an order — not even an order likely to prove 
harmful — save after personal inquiry, and in case of extreme 


This is the third year that I have spent the winter in 
Moscow without holding any office, and living a futile, 
useless life devoid of occupation or aim. And I have hved so, 
not because, as is often said and written, everyone in 
Moscow lives thus, but because a life of that kind has pleased 
me. The position of a young man in Muscovite society 
partially tends to predispose him to idleness. I say '* a 
young man " in the sense of one who combines in himself 
such qualifications as education, good family, and an 
annual income of from ten to twenty thousand roubles. 
Yes, the life of a youth who possesses these qualifications 
is very pleasant — in it there is not a single care. But if he 
does not hold some office (in real earnest) he is a mere 
cipher, and loves to indulge in idleness. 

All drawing-rooms are open to him, and he may aspire 
to any damsel he pleases. No young fellow could stand 
higher in general opinion than he. Yet let the same man 


visit St Petersburg, and he will find himself at a loss to 
divine why S. and G. Gorchakov should go to Court, and 
not he, or how he is to gain the entree to the Baroness 
Z.'s ^ evening party, to the Countess A.'s ^ " rout," and so 
forth. Nor will he attain the entree to those salons if he 
have not the support of a countess, or have been reared 
in those salons, or be able to bear humiliation, and to 
seize every possible opportunity of worming his way along 
with difficulty, but without honour, 

June i8th. — It was 7.30 when I rose, and until now, 11 
o'clock, I have done nothing. 11-12, music ; 2-5, estate 
affairs ; 6-8, music ; 8-1 1, toilet, music, and reading. 

June igth. — Yesterday the day|went well enough, for 
almost everything in it was carried out. With one point 
only am I feeling dissatisfied : and that point is the fact 
that I cannot overcome my sensuality, and the less so in 
that it is a passion which has now become in me a habit. 
However, my resolutions for two days having been carried 
out, I will make plans for a similar period. 

June igth. — 5-8, estate affairs, meditation on music ; 
8-10, reading; 10-12, fair copying of my thoughts on 
music ; 12-6, rest ; 6-8, music ; 8-10, estate affairs. 

June 20th. — 5-10, estate management and the diary ; 
10-12, music ; 12-6, a rest ; 6-10, estate management. 

General Rules. — When one remembers an unpleasant 
occurrence yet cannot think it out thoroughly, one's mood 
is apt to become spoilt. Hence, 

Every disagreeable thought ought to he pondered over, in 
order that, jirst and foremost, one may discern whether or not 
it is likely to have consequences. If such be probable, one 

1 Probably Maria von Zeddeler (1825-68), at that time a maid 
of honour and the daughter of Baron Ludwig Iv. von Zeddeler 
(i 791-1852), lieutenant-general of engineers, and editor of the 
Military Encyclopedia (published by the Society of Military Littera- 
teurs, St P., 1852-56). They belonged to the highest aristocratic 
circles. — Ed. 

* Probably either Countess Apraxin or Countess Adlerberg. 
Both of them belonged to high society and were attached to the 
Court. In the forties under Nicholas I., and under Alexander II., 
the Counts Adlerberg were in close touch with the Court. — Ed, 


should forestall them ; or, if that cannot he done, and the 
circumstance he already past, one should, after careful con- 
sideration, attempt either to forget or to grow accustomed to 
the circumstance. 

1850. Decemher 8th, Moscow. — I kept this diary only 
for five days. Now it is five months since last I took it 
into my hands ! 

However, let me try to remember what I have done 
meanwhile, and why I evidently wearied of my then 
pursuits. During the past period a quiet life in the 
country has wrought in me a great revolution : my old 
follies, my old need to interest myself in affairs^ have shed 
their fruit, and I have ceased to frame castles in Spain, 
and plans which no human capacity could execute. Above 
all — and it is a conviction most favourable to me — stands 
the fact that I no longer place reliance upon my own 
judgment alone, I no longer despise the forms generally 
accepted of mankind. There was a time when everything 
ordinary seemed to me unworthy of my notice : whereas 
now I accept as good and true but few convictions which 
I have not seen applied and practised by many. It is 
strange that I should have despised that which constitutes 
man's greatest asset, his power of comprehending the con- 
victions of others, and observing in practical execution 
those convictions ! And it is strange that I should have 
given rein to my judgment without in the least verifying 
or applying that judgment ! In a word, and to put it 
very simply, I have now come to my senses, I am grown 
a little older. To this change my very conceit has con- 
tributed. For always, when plunging into the life of 
profligacy, I remarked that men below me in all else could 
surpass me in this particular sphere, and the fact hurt 
me, until I came to the conviction that the profligate life 
was not my destiny. And perhaps two other shocks 
contributed to this. The first was a pecuniary loss of mine 
to Ogarev^ — an occurrence which so threw my affairs 

* Ogarev, neighbour, landowner (Government of Tula) . Tolstoy, 
in his Reminiscences of My Childhood, when recalling his early 


into disorder that there seems to be no hope of righting 
them ; and the second was a fire which forced me involun- 
tarily to bestir myself, while at the same time my activities 
received encouragement from a revenge at card play. 
One thing I think : and that is that I have grown cold. 
Only at rare intervals, mostly v/hen I am retiring to rest, 
does my feeling crave expression. Also, during hours of in- 
toxication — though I have promised to eschew drunkenness. 

These notes, however, I need not continue, for I am 
preoccupied with affairs in Moscow, and, should 1 find time, 
intend to write a story of gipsy life. 

Another impoi'tant change which I have remarked in 
myself is the fact that I am grown more self-assured. I 
have ceased to feel shy. This I presume to be due to the 
fact that only one aim (interest) is mine, and that, in 
striving to attain that aim, I am coming to value myself, 
and to acquire that sense of personal dignity which so 
facilitates intercourse with one's fellows. 

Rides for card-playing in Moscow until January ist. 

(i) To risk what money is in my pocket on one evening 
only, or on a few. 

(2) To play with none but men of wealth who possess 
more than I do. 

(3) To play alone, not with a partner. 

(4) To reckon as a gain the sum which I have set aside 
for losses when the former shall come to amount to twice 

childhood, says : " Scarcely anyone save the Ogarevs, our near 
neighbours, and our relations , . , visited Yasnaya Polyana." 
{Vide L. N. Tolstoy's Complete Works, vol. i., p. 260). Tolstoy 
also mentions him several times in his letters to Mme. T. A. Ergolsky, 
and always in connection with his gambling debts. Now he loses 
a large sum to Ogarev, and this debt weighs on him, now he wins 
it back, and writes to T, A. Ergolsky, amongst other things : "I 
also sent word to Ogarev that I had arrived and would like to see 
him. He came at once and brought with him my two promissory 
notes : he made many excuses but did not return the money he 
owed me." {Vide letter from. Moscow, Dec. 9, 1850, etc., Com.plete 
Works, vol. xxi.) — Ed. 


as much as the latter. That is to say, if I have set myself 
to lose 100 roubles, and shall win 300, I will reckon the 
100 roubles as a gain, and not permit myself to retrieve 
them. But if I should have the luck again to win, I will 
not reckon the sum set aside for losses as a gain save when 
such gain shall amount to three times the sum set aside. 
And so on, ad infinitum. 

With regard to sittings at play, I intend to reckon as 
follows : If I win a stroke, I will add it to my losses ; and 
if my winnings should double themselves, I will use^ twice 
over, the sum set aside. And so on, and so on. But if, 
after winning, there should occur a loss, I will cast up 
the total of my losses, and divide the remainder of my 
latest winnings into two portions, and subsequent winnings 
into three. Also, I will begin play by dividing the sum 
set aside for losses into a number of equal portions. In 
the present instance I will divide 300 roubles into three. 

Remarks. — A sitting I will reckon as a sitting when I shall 
have come to the end of — won or lost — such sum as I may 
prescribe. Before each sitting I will call to mind what I 
have written down here, nor lose sight of it. And I will 
not remain seated from one sitting to another without 
giving myself an interval wherein to rectify my accounts. 

As I acquire more experience these rules may have to 
be altered ; but until I have framed new ones I will keep 
the old. 

Also, after reflection, I may make exceptions in these 
rules when I have won from 9000 to 29,000 silver roubles. 

Rules with regard to process of play. 

Always to deal the cards myself. To reckon the 
points 1 (20 and 40) as 120, and as 20-10-80 — when three 
points have been lost if they shall amount to three times 
the middle number. On winning, to make a new calcula- 
tion, and to increase my stake as much as possible. 
Always to carry in my head a reckoning of the game's 

1 Probably in a card game of the nature of " hazard." — Ed. 


Rules for Society. 

Always to choose difficult positions ; always to en- 
deavour to lead in a discussion ; always to speak roundly, 
low, and distinctly ; always to endeavour both to begin 
and to close a conversation ; always to seek association with 
men higher in the world than myself, and, even before 
I have set eyes upon them, to determine in what relations 
towards them I will stand ; never to be afraid to speak 
before a third person ; to avoid constant change of con- 
versation from Russian into French, and from French 
into Russian ; to remember that, when one finds oneself 
in company of which one feels shy, it is necessary at once 
to put pressure upon oneself ; to ask for dances at a ball 
only of the most important ladies ; if a mistake be made, 
not to trouble myself about it, but to continue behaving 
as before ; to keep as cool as possible ; lastly, never to 
express my feelings. 

Occupations for to-day ii a.m. — To remain at home, 
to read, and in the evening to write out rules for society, 
and a synopsis of the tale. 

Occupations for December 8th. From early morning, 
to read ; then, until luncheon, to post this diary, with a 
list of visits and engagements for Sunday ; after luncheon, 
to read, and to take a bath ; in the evening, if not too 
tired, to work at the tale. Also, in the morning immedi- 
ately after coffee, to write letters to the office, to my aunt,^ 
and to Perfilyev.2 

December i2,th. — For December 12th I made no entry 
in this diary, yet spent the day well enough — i.e. not in 

^ Pel. II., Yushkov. {Vide footnote on p. 79.) 

2 Stepan Vasilyevich Perfilyev {ob. 1878), a general of gendar- 
mery. His wife, Anastasiya Sergeyevna {ob. 1891), and their 
son, Vasily Stepanovich (i 826-1 890) ; tie married Praskovya 
Fedorovna, nee Countess Tolstoy {ob. 1887). V. S, was of the 
same age as Tolstoy and was his companion. In the 'seventies 
he was the Governor of Moscow. Tolstoy mentions " Vas. P." 
in his Diary for 1896 (vide Diary of L. N. Tolstoy, vol. i. (i 895-1 899), 
edited by V. G. Tchertkoff, published in Moscow, 1916, p. 66). 
Vide also footnote on p. 46. — Ed. 


idleness. Amongst other things, I visited the dignitaries 
and the Club, and came to the conclusion, firstly, that 
disposed as I am now, I shall be a success in society, and 
that, seemingly, I am almost ceasing to play — my old passion 
for cards appears to have gone out of existence, though 
for that I cannot altogether answer, seeing that it needs 
to be put to the proof. Not that I intend to seek an 
occasion for so doing. Merely I will not let one pass. 

Occupations for December n'^th. — ^To have a talk with 
Peter 1 on the subject of the petition to his Imperial 
Majesty and my chances of being admitted into the Civil 
Service at Moscow ; to write letters to my aunt and 
Perfilyev; to pay visits to P. S. D.^ and Kryukov^; to 
read, to make some purchases (of galoshes) and music 
books ; to dine, to read, and to occupy myself with the 
composition of music or a tale. 

December 14th. — I am dissatisfied with myself on 
account of yesterday ; firstly, because I listened to the 
Countess's * abuse of Vasenka, whom I love ; and secondly, 
because a foolish delicacy led me to waste the evening. 

1 Evidently one of Tolstoy's influential relatives in St Peters- 
burg, though the identity of the person in question cannot be 
determined. — Ed. 

2 Undoubtedly Prince Sergey Dmitriyevich Gorchakov (1794- 
1873), a distant kinsman of Tolstoy's who was the son of a cousin 
of his (paternal) grandmother, Pelageya Nikolayevna, nSe Gor- 
chakov. His name occurs fairly frequently in the following pages 
of the Diary. He was the son of Dm. P. Gorchakov, the " Free- 
thinker," and the brother of Michael, the defender of Sebastopol. 
(Vide Reminiscences of My Childhood, by L. N. Tolstoy, Complete 
Works, vol. i., p. 264). In the 'fifties he was a member of the 
Council of the Moscow Palace Office. — Ed. 

* Either Peter Ivanovich Kryukov, president of the English 
Club, or Ivan Vasilyevich Kryukov (i 794-1 857), a landowner of 
Krapivna, or Peter Ivanovich Kryukov (i 793-1 857), also a land- 
owner, of Tula, and a participator in the war of 181 2. One of them 
is mentioned in a letter to Mme. T. A. Ergolsky in connection with 
some business concerning Tolstoy's brother, Sergey Nikolayevich : 
"As regards Serezha, tell him that I have not yet called on 
Kryukov," etc. (Moscow, Dec. 9, 1850, vide Complete Works, 
xxi., p. 104.) — Ed. 

* Evdoxia (or, as Tolstoy used to call her, Avdotya) Maximovna 
Tolstoy, mother-in-law to " Vasenka," i.e. to Vas. Step. Perfilyev. 


To-day I must give orders for my petition to be drawn up. 
Also^ I must call upon Vasenka, lunch with Gorchakov, 
and, in the evening, fulfil a portion of what I have begun. 
Above all^ I must write some letters. 

December i^th. — I am much dissatisfied with yesterday. 
To begin with, I did nothing with regard to the Board of 
Guardians ; secondly, I wrote nothing ; thirdly, I have 
begun to weaken in my convictions^ and to yield to other 
people's influence. To-morrow I must rise very early, 
spend the morning in reading, busy myself with this diary, 
with other writing, and with letters ; at 12 o'clock attend 
the council at Evreinov's ^ house, then call upon Kryukov, 
Madame Anikeyev^ and Lvov,^ dine at home, resume 
my writing, visit the theatre, and busy myself at home 

Rules for Society. — Not to keep ringing the changes 
upon a person's name, but always to address him in the 
same manner. Also, to allow no one to offer me the 
smallest insult or sarcasm without pa3dng double for it. 

December 16th. — I did everything except the writing. 
Always I must rise early. In the morning I must write 
letters and the tale, visit the Kalymazhny Dvor ^ and the 

^ Probably Paul Alexandrovich Evreinov, who was married to 
Princess Sophie Alexandrovna Obolensky, sister of Prince Dmitry 
Alexandrovich Ob., a good friend of Tolstoy's. Tolstoy used to 
visit him at his estate, " Berezichi" (near the Optin Convent), 
government of Kaluga. Pie mentions it in his Letters to his Wife 
{vide June 1877). In the 'fifties Evreinov evidently served on 
the Board of Guardians in Moscow which Tolstoy mentions in this 
entry (information supplied by N. V. Davydov). — Ed. 

^ Landowner of Tula. — Ed. 

^ Prince Lvov. Unfortunately the Editor did not succeed 
in establishing his name and patronymic. It is the greater pity 
because in his letters Tolstoy speaks of him as an intimate friend. In 
his letter toMme. T. A. Ergolsky, dated Dec. 9, 1850, Tolstoy wrote : 
" The day before yesterday I sent word to Prince Lvov that I 
had arrived and was unwell. He came at once, and although 
changed in many respects I still found him the same good friend 
. . ." Perhaps it was Prince Georgy Vladimirovich Lvov (1821- 
1873).— Ed. 

* The Coaching Club, formerly situated in the Tverskoy Quarter, 
the fourth Quarter, between the Grand Theatre and the University. 
Later it was closed down and turned into a place for incarceration ; 


baths, send messages to the council and Lvov, dine at 
home, play cards at Prince Andrey Ivanovich's,^ and make 
love to the Princess. After dinner, also, must purchase 
some cloth and music. 

December i^ih. — To-day I must rise early, set to work 
upon a letter to Dyakov ^ and the tale, at lo o'clock 
attend mass at the Zachatyevsky Convent,^ and^ lastly, 
call upon An. Petr., Madame Yakovlev, and Koloshin.* 
Also I must send for some music, draft a letter to 
the office, lunch at home, occupy myself with music and 
rules, and, in the evening [[3]] repair to the Club. On the 
i8th I shall be in the great world at Lvov's, Evreinov's, 
and Prince Andrey Ivanovich's, and canvass them in 
connection with a post. 

General Rules. — When nothing urgent detains me, to 
go to bed at 12, and to rise at 8. Daily to spend four 
hours over serious music practice. 

December 18th. — To-morrow I must rise at 9.30, read 
until 10.30, write and entertain Volkonsky^ from then 

towards the 'nineties there was nothing but a vacant space, but at 
the present time there stands on this site the Emperor Alexander 
III. Museum of Fine Arts, — Ed. 

^ Prince Andrey Ivanovich Gorchakov, a general of infantry 
(1768-1855). He was a second cousin of Pelageya Nikolayevna, w^e 
Gorchakov (Tolstoy's grandmother). Tolstoy says of him in his 
Reminiscences of My Childhood : " Andrey Ivanovich was a general 
in command of something in the active army (in 1812) and my father 
was appointed one of his adjutants." (Vide Reminiscences of My 
Childhood, Complete Works, vol. i., p. 261.) — Ed. 

2 Dmitry Alexeyevich Dyakov {ob. 1891), a friend of Tolstoy's 
youth. " The material for describing friendship (between Niko- 
lenka Irtenyev and Nekhlyudov in the story Boyhood) was furnished 
by my later friendship with Dyakov during my first year as a 
student at Kazan." (Vide L. N. Tolstoy's Notes to Birykov's Life. — 

^ The Convent of the Immaculate Conception at Ostozhenka. 
In olden times it was called " Women's Convent of the Immaculate 
Conception. ' ' — Ed . 

^ Sergey Pavlovich Koloshin (i 823-1868), a friend of Tolstoy in 
his youth. — Ed. 

^ It is notfknown which Volkonsky is here meant. In Reminiscences 
of My Childhood Tolstoy mentions a certain Volkonsky as follows : 
"Mile. Henissienne (a friend of Tolstoy's mother in her young 


until 12, go for a stroll from 12 to 2, then write and write 
until evening, and dine at home. 

December igth. — All that I set myself to do on the i8th 
I duly carried out. 

December 20th. — At 10 I must visit Volkonsky ; at 11, 
and until 2, write letters, and work at the tale. From 
I to 3.15, work at music ; until 9 visit the Dyakovs ; then 
return home to write again on music. 

It is now II o'clock, and as yet I have not put pen to 
paper. Also, I am dissatisfied with myself for evincing 
sh5mess at the Dyakovs*. 

December 21st. — From 8 to 10 I must write ; from 10 
to 2 go for some money, and practise fencing ; from 2 to 
6 lunch somewhere ; from 6 to midnight write at home, 
and entertain no one. Also, inquiry must be made of 
Lvov concerning Serezha's^ post in the Service. Also, I 
must call upon Avdotya Maximovna.^ 

days) married a cousin of my mother's, Prince Michael Volkonsky, 
grandfather to the present writer of that name." — Ed. 

1 Tolstoy's brother Sergey Nikolayevich (i 826-1 904), We 
adduce here a description by Tolstoy himself of the terms on which 
he was with his brother : 

" With Mitenka I was on friendly terms, Nikolenka I respected, 
but Serezha I admired, imitated, loved, and tried to become. 
Yes, I admired his handsome exterior, his singing — he was always 
singing — his drawing, his high spirits, above all things, strange 
though it be to state, the outspokenness of his egotism. Yes, I 
was fond of Nikolenka, but Serezha I admired as something 
different from myself, something beyond my understanding — 
his life was, in my eyes, a life full of beauty, but a life wholly unin- 
telligible : a life mysterious, and, therefore, boundlessly attractive." 
{Reminiscences of My Childhood.) — Ed. 

2 Countess Avdotya Maximovna, nSe Tugayev (1796-1861), 
was married to Count Theodore Ivanovich Tolstoy ; she was a 
gipsy by birth ; Tolstoy sometimes calls her simply " the Countess " 
(vide Dec. 14 and 25, '50 and Jan. 14, '51). Her daughter Praskovya 
Fedorovna was married to V. S. Perfilyev, a friend of Tolstoy's. 
Tolstoy was closely related to them and addressed them by their 
Christian name, " Vasenka " and " Polenka." Further on (Dec. 
25) Tolstoy calls her " Perfilyev." Their father, Theodore Tolstoy, 
is the one mentioned by Griboyedov in his Came to Grief through 
Being too Clever: " He was exiled to Kamchatka but returned via 
the Aleutian Islands." After having fought a duel he went to 
America where he spent a considerable time ; when he returned 


Also I must read no novels. 

December 22nd. — Until 12 write on music, and analyze 
— then go to the Countess's for luncheon. Should I 
obtain no money, must send notes to Libir ^ and Peter 
Evstratov. Also I must write letter no. i. 

December 24th. — I must rise at 12, and write a letter to 
the office, with orders to have an account furnished ; then 
lunch at home with Laptev. Before luncheon must attend 
the shrine of the holy relics and, in the evening, study 
thorough-bass and a sonata. Also, if in heart to do so, 
must write letter no. i. 

Rules. — To play cards only on exceptional occasions. 
To say as little as possible about myself. To speak roundly 
and distinctly. 

Rules. — Daily to take exercise at home. In accordance 
with the law of religion, to eschew intercourse with women. 

December 2^th. — To visit Prince Sergey Dmitryevich 
Gorchakov, Madame Yakovlev, Zakrevsky,^ Prince 

he was nicknamed " Tolstoy, the American " to distinguish him 
from the other Tolstoys, (According to D. Blagov's book, Tales of 
a Grandmother, Reminiscences of Five Generations, p. 305, St P., 
1885.)— Ed. 

1 Libir is probably a slip of the pen ; possibly it is Libin, secretary 
of the Tula Assembly of the Deputies of the Nobility in the 'forties 
and 'fifties ; by the way, it was he who had signed a copy of the 
protocol in the journal of the Tula Assembly of the Deputies of the 
Nobility, " which was issued on April 19th, 1841, to Leo Tolstoy, 
minor, son of the late Lieutenant-Colonel and Knight Count 
Nikolayevich Tolstoy." This extract bore evidence that the 
children of Count Nicolay Ilyich Tolstoy had been entered in Part V. 
of the Tula Genealogical book, and had to be submitted when the 
children entered educational establishments. . . . Tolstoy probably 
wrote to him in connection with some documents relating to his 
birth. — Ed. 

^ Count Arseny Andreyevich Zakrevsky (i 783-1 865), from 
1 848 to 1 859 Military Governor-General of Moscow, and distinguished 
by his arbitrary regime and his desire to interfere in everything, 
family relations not excepted ; he justified his action by referring 
to secret instructions of the Emperor Nicholas I., who saw signs 
of revolution everywhere. After 1855, when the question of the 
liberation of the peasants became the order of the day, Zakrevsky 
forbade that this reform be even mentioned in Moscow, expecting 
that the government of Alexander II. " would come to its senses 
and that everything would remain as before." He married Countess 


Andrey Ivanovich Gorchakov, the Countess A v. Max. 
Tolstoy, Madame Perfilyev Praskovya Fedorovna, Vol- 
konsky, and the Dyakovs. To send cards to Gorchakov, 
Lvov, Ozerov,^ Koloshin, and Volkonsky. 

December 26th. — Yesterday I spent my time badl^^ for 
I visited the tziganes. 

December 2'jth. — Must rise at 9 and, until 12, attend the 
Kalymazhny Dvor, and call upon Chertov ^ and A. Petr.^ 
Then home, and, should there be sufficient money in 
hand, invite the two Volkonskys, Ozerov, and Sollogub * 

Agrafena Fedorovna Tolstoy (1800-1880), Tolstoy's cousin once 
removed. — Ed. 

^ The Editor has not succeeded in obtaining detailed infor- 
mation about this person. In N. V. Davydov's book From the 
Past (Moscow, 1914) we find the close circle of Obolenskys and their 
relations . , . Davydovs, Ozerovs, Volkonskys, Evreinovs, 
and others mentioned {vide p. 139). Undoubtedly L. N. had 
intimate or at least frequent relations with this Ozerov, for his name 
occurs many times in the pages of the Diary though without any 
details defining these relations. — Ed. 

2 Probably Paul Apollonovich Chertov (1782-1871), a senator 
and general of infantry. — Ed. 

^ The Editor had difficulty in establishing who is meant by 
" A. Petr." Is it perhaps Anna Petrovna Yakovlev ? {Vide 
entry for Dec. 17th, '50.) We did not succeed in securing any 
information concerning this person. — Ed. 

^ Count Vladimir Alexandrovich Sollogub (1814-1882), a well- 
known writer. He was well educated after the French fashion 
and was employed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but he had 
no career in spite of his good connections and wealth. Literary 
and artistic interests had preference with him. S. was a kind 
man, responsive to another's grief and sincerely rejoiced at another's 
success when deserved. He was free from the prejudices of fashion- 
able society, yet was a welcome guest in aristocratic salons, where 
he was liked as an interesting conversationalist and for his knack 
in getting up plays and entertainments ; at the same time he was 
quite at home in the circle of the young writers who grouped 
around the " Otechestvenniya Zapiski " of the time of Belinsky. 
Of his works the novel Fashionable Society met with special 
success. In it he depicted this milieu showing its emptiness and 
glitter, but individuals of the middle class were depicted as being 
true to their sense of duty and as having sincerity of feeling. His 
most successful work, Tarantas, represents a talented mixture of 
belles-lettres and essay writing. In 1852 S. was attached to Prince 
M. S. Vorontsov (in the Caucasus) and his rank was that of a 

Undoubtedly L. N. was intimate with Sollogub for many 


to lunch. Then to the tziganes. Before dinner, and after 
getting myself ready, Gotier's ^ and Chulkov's.^ 

December 28th.— I am displeased with myself, and the 
more so because, being unwell, I had to-day to keep my 
rule that if one is ill, one need not fulfil what one has set 
oneself, yet must do nothing else. I must visit the Gorcha- 
kovs. I re-read my diary, and did what I had left undone. 
I must go to the Neskuchny Gardens and make love to 
the Princess.^ Towards evening must accompany Nik. 
Gorchakov * to the tziganes, and then pack my things. 

December 2gth. — I am leading the life of a brute, a life 
practically to no purpose, for I have abandoned nearly 
all my pursuits, and am feeling out of spirits. To-morrow 
I must rise early, and, until 2 o'clock, neither receive any- 
one nor go out for a drive. At 2 I must repair to Chulkov's 
and the Dyakovs*, lunch with the Prince ^ and agitate 

years. In the group of writers taken in the 'fifties Count V. A. 
SoUogub is photographed together with L. N. Tolstoy and others. 

There was another Count SoUogub, Leo Alexandrovich (1812- 
1852), a diplomat. He was married to Maria Fed. Samarin. (His 
son. Count Theodore Lvovich, poet and artist, died in 1890,) — Ed, 

^ A French bookshop on the Kuznetsky Bridge in Moscow. At 
that time it was owned by Margaret Ivanovna Gotier. — Ed. 

* Chulkov (?) — a landowner of Tula. We were not successful 
in establishing his name and patronymic. The Tolstoy family 
appears to have had fairly frecjuent intercourse with him, judging 
from L. N.'s letters. Thus, for mstance, he writes to T. A. Ergolsky 
from the Caucasus, June 26, 1852, asking her to send him Rousseau's 
book La Nouvelle Hilo'ise : " Please send Serezha (my brother) 
to look for it at Chulkov's." And still earlier from Moscow (Dec. 
24, 1850) : " Recently I met Chulkov at the bank and yesterday 
he paid me a visit and assured me that he has settled all his business 
at the bank, but I think he lies. He ur^ed me much to go and see 
him, but you understand that neither his nor his wife's society has 
the least attraction for me ; therefore, I shall not go." — Ed. 

* " To make love to the Princess." Probably Princess Shcher- 
batov is meant here. {Vide footnote on pp. 49-50.) — Ed. 

* Nikolay Gorchakov. Inquiries made show that there were two 
Gorchakovs : (i) Prince Nikolay Mikhailovich (i 823-1 874), but we 
have no information concerning him, and (2) Nik. Pavlovich (1830- 
1884 ?), second-lieutenant of the Podol Jaeger regiment, who took 
part in the Crimean campaign. — Ed. 

* Prince Alexander Alexeyevich Shcherbatov (1829-1902), son 
of Prince Alexis Grigoryevich, Governor-General of Moscow, and 
of Princess Sophie Stepanovna, who at that time was president of 



with him for a post. 

Also, I must take thought at my leisure concerning 
my future conduct in any new situation. In the morning 
wlQ work at the tale, read, and either play the piano or 
write something on music ; while in the evening I will 
frame further rules, and visit the tziganes. 

December z^th. — A rule. To seek position tr . . . [left 
undeciphered] . To rise and to retire early, to prepare 
everything beforehand, to enter a daily record of my stay 
in Moscow, to request Koloshin to make inquiries concern- 
ing a post, and, at 3 o'clock, to go for a drive. 

December 31s/, Y.P (?). — I have been travelling, visiting 
Shcherbatov, and have determined to take a posting- 
house.^ True, I have been to see the Postmaster-General, 
but have not yet had a serious talk with Shcherbatov. 

the Board of Guardians of the Poor. The Prince was a social worker 
and a rich landowner. Later in the 'sixties he was mayor of 
Moscow. We have reason to believe that L. N. was, at that time, 
fascinated by the Princess Shcherbatov (wife of Prince A. A. S.). 
Biryukov mentions Tolstoy " falling in love with the fashionable 
S." who probably knew little about this feeling, as Tolstoy was 
always timid and bashful in these matters. In the following 
entries in the Diary we see some hints of this falling in love : "To 
make love to the Princess " (Dec. 16, '50), and so on. Then in the 
subsequent entries, where he mentions Prince Shcherbatov, there 
are slight hints of relations being somewhat strained, for instance : 
" Was weak with Shcherbatov " (the italics are the author's, Apr. 
3, '51). It is very likely that the entry for Jan. 25, '51, refers to 
this falling in love : "I have fallen in love, or imagine myself to 
have done so." — Ed, 

^ Tolstoy had the intention of renting a posting-station. — Ed. 


January ist, Yasnaya Polyana. — I have been staying 
at Pokrovskoye ^ for the purpose of meeting Nikolenka,^ 

^ The estate of Count Valerian Petrovich Tolstoy, the husband 
of Maria Nikolayevna, Tolstoy's sister. — Ed. 

2 Tolstoy's eldest brother, Nikolay Nikolayevich (i 823-1 806), 
graduated at the University of Kazan in the second division of 
the faculty of philosophy and mathematics, in the year 1844, 
Tolstoy never failed to acknowledge that N. N. exercised upon 
him in his childhood a strong and beneficent influence in the 
direction of striving after perfection ; in his Reminiscences of My 
Childhood Tolstoy devotes the whole of chapter ix. to his eldest 
brother N. N. Amongst other things he says of him : " My eldest 
brother, Nikolinka, was six years my senior. ... A remarkable 
boy, he became, later, a remarkable man." Recalling in detail 
the strong impression which the eleven-year-old Nikolenka produced 
upon him, the five-year-old writer, through the narration of tales 
concerning the " ant brotherhood " and the " green wand " that 
was buried at the edge of a wooded ravine (the old Zakaz) and had 
incribed upon it a secret of which the discovery was to render all 
men happy, Tolstoy states : "I have since formed the opinion 
that Nikolinka had probably either read or heard of the Freemasons, 
of their desire to render humanity happy, and of the mysterious 
rites of reception into their order. It is probable also that he had 
heard of the Moravian Brothers, and that, in his lively imaginative- 
ness and love for mankind and virtue, he combined the whole of 
these items into one, and invented the stories both because he 
himself delighted in them and because he could use them for our 

Writing from Tifiis to Madame T. A. Ergolsky on November 
12th, 1852, Tolstoy says concerning his brother N. N. : " So accus- 
tomed have I grown to being always with Nikolinka that I have 
found the parting with him, though only for a short time, hard to 
bear. Yet — and I confess it to my shame — it is only recently that I 
have learnt to value, respect and love this splendid brother of mine 
according to his deserts. Often your good advice, dear auntie, 
returns to my memory, and the fact that again and again you used 
to check me when speaking lightly of Nikolinka. You did rightly, 
for without false modesty I can say that Nikolinka is in every 
respect better than us all ! " 

Writing to her a little later he says 1 " Nikolinka is getting on 



who has in no way changed, though I have done so very 
greatly. Were he not so strange, I might exercise upon 
him a certain influence. But either he has ceased to pay 
me attention, or to love me, or he is pretending not to 
pay attention to, or to love, me. 

January 2nd. — The christening.^ To meet my relatives, 
then to call upon the Dyakovs, and then to go, for a night, 
to Tula, where I am to enter into an agreement with 
Shcherbatov. Returning to Yasnaya on the night of the 
3rd, I shall stay at Yasnaya until evening, then go to 
Moscow for a night on the 4th. At Tula, also, I am to 
deposit a power of attorney and a petition, as well as to 
call upon the President. 

January 12th, Moscow. — Moscow. To-morrow I must 
rise at 8, go to the Iversky Chapel, read up everything con- 
cerning a posting-station, think the matter over, make 
notes, and call upon Tatishchev. 

January i:^th. — I have given up thinking of the posting- 
house, for I could not sustain the part. The train of pro- 
visions has arrived from the country. I have seen off 
Nikolay, and comported myself badly. 

Rule. — To make copies of all letters, and to keep them in 
due order. 

splendidly, for both his superiors and his brother of&cers love and 
respect him, and, in addition, he has the reputation of being an 
of&cer of courage. For myself I love him more than ever, and, 
whenever in his company, am happy, and, whenever deprived of him, 
sad." (Tiflis, Dec. 24, 1851, Complete Works, vol. xxi.) 

In the History of the 20th Artillery Brigade Yanzhul repeatedly 
mentions Lieutenant Count N. Tolstoy as a participator in many 
military expeditions in Chechenia, 1851-53. (Vide Eighty Years 
of a Life of Fighting and of Peace of the 20th Artillery Brigade,'^ 
Part II.) 

Evidently Tolstoy mentions in this entry his meeting with his 
eldest brother at Pokrovskoye, who had come home on leave from 
the army of the Caucasus. We retain throughout Tolstoy's old- 
fashioned spelling of his brother's name : " Nikolinka," but in 
those places where we have completed it we spell it in the generally 
accepted way : " Nikolenka." — Ed. 

^ Probably of Countess Maria Nikolayevna Tolstoy's first-born 
child, Nikolay Valerianovich, Tolstoy's godson, who was born in 
1851 and died in 1879. — Ed, 

i^^o-UyTiyO <y^l.^^.A:/y-Ct:&M lJ^Z^^A^ ^/c^/rJ^tc^.^ 

^ cyiiZ/Le^'L^ . 


January i./\th, 1851. — Since the 14th my conduct has 
been unsatisfactory, for I did not attend the Stolypins* ^ 
ball. I have lent some money, and I am sitting here 
without a groat. And all because I have weakened in 

Rule. — Never to play eralash for stakes of less than 25 
kopecks. As a matter of fact I have no money, and the 
dates for repaying many promissory notes are past. 
Thus I am beginning to notice that my sojourn in Moscow 
is in no way advantaging me, and that I am living much 
above my income. 

Rule. — To call things by their right names. Not to con- 
ceal from persons who speak lightly of financial matters the 
state of my affairs, hut to endeavour to engage their attention, 
for the purpose of leading them to the subject. 

Of the three methods of righting my affairs which have 
occurred to me, I have let nearly all escape me : namely, 

1. That of falling in with a circle of gamblers, and, so 
long as I have the money, playing with them ; 

2. That of entering high society, and, under certain con- 
ditions, marrying; and 

1 3. That of obtaining an advantageous post in the Service. 
But there presents itself to me a fourth measure : which 
is to borrow money of Kireyevski.^ 

1 Stolypins, landowners of Tula, old friends of the Tolstoy family. 
Arkady Dmitryevich, general of artillery and writer (i 822-1 899). 
A comrade of Tolstoy's in the Crimean campaign. He wrote A 
History of Russia for People and Soldiers, and articles. He was the 
father of P. A. Stolypin, the Prime Minister {oh. 191 1). 

There was another Stolypin, Dmitry Arkadyevich (1818-1893), 
son of the senator and writer Arkady Alexeyevich. — Ed. 

^ At the time Tolstoy knew two Kireyevskys. Nikolay Vasil- 
yevich, a rich landowner of the Government of Tula and Orel. 
Tolstoy in his Reminiscences of My Childhood when speaking of his 
father says : " His chief companion when shooting was his friend 
Kireyevsky, a rich old bachelor " [vide Tolstoy's Complete Works, 
vol. 1., p. 262). Tolstoy in his Letters to his Wife says of him: "He 
is very amiable, quiet, and is simple in every sense, treats everyone 
alike ; obviously he was honest, kind, and a man of common 
sense, for whom it was easy to be honest, owing to his position 
and his wealth." And further : " He was limited, honest and 
firm, a sportsman exclusively. . . ." (June 28, 1865). In the 



No one of these resources contradicts the rest, and it is 
necessary for me to act. 

I must write to the estate for instant remittance of 150 
roubles. Also, I must seek out Ozerov, and offer him a 
horse, in addition to having it advertised in the papers. 
Also, I must call upon the Countess, and await my 
opportunity. Also, I must make inquiry concerning 
the invitations to the Zakrevskys' ^ ball, and order a new 

Before the hall to do plenty of thinking and writing. 

Also, I must visit Prince Sergey Dmitriyevch, and discuss 
with him the question of a post, and Prince Audrey 
Ivanovich, whom I must ask for a post. 

I must pledge my watch. 

I must find out from Evreinov Kireyevsky's address, 
and call upon the latter. At 1.30 to Evreinov's and thence, 
whatever his reply, to Ivan Vasil Kireyevsky's. 

January 18th. — My conduct has been neither bad nor 
good. Rather, I lack elasticity. On the 19th the 

Engagements. — To visit the riding-school, Madame 

present case, however, it is more correct to suppose {vide entry- 
further on) that it was another Kireyevsky, namely, Ivan Vasil- 
yevich (i 806-1 856), an eminent noble of the Belev district, Govern- 
ment of Tula, and one of the originators of Slavophilism. At 
one time he was editor of the journal Moskvityanin ; he also 
wrote religious and philosophical articles in the Moskovsky 
Sbornik, Russkaya Beseda, and in other publications of the Slavo- 
phil circle. In the 'thirties he was editor of the journal Evropeyets 
which was soon suppressed and K. was placed under supervision 
as a suspect. He was very much upset at his ill-success and left 
for the country where he became engaged in farming. A second 
edition of his works, edited by M. O. Gerschenson, was published 
at Moscow in 1910. A. B. Goldenweiser's Diary {Russkiye Pro- 
piley, vol. ii., p. 342, Moscow, 1916) contains the following remark 
by Tolstoy regarding I. V. Kireyevsky, which he made on Aug. 29, 
1908 : " One could merely say of him that the aim of his life con- 
sisted in living with God." — Ed. 

^ Probably A. A. Zakrevsky, Governor-general {vide footnote 
on p. 47) and his wife, Agrafena Fedorovna, n6e Countess Tolstoy 
(i 780-1 879), daughter of Theodore Andreyevich Tolstoy, Tolstoy's 
first cousin. It is known that A. S. Pushkin was fascinated by 
her in her youth. — Ed. 


Chertov,^ the Gorchakovs, and P. L M.(?).2 Towards 
evening, the bank. To write a history of mi . . . ^ 

January 2^th. — I have fallen in love, or imagine myself 
to have fallen in love. It happened at an evening party. 
I quite lost my head. I have bought a horse which I do 
not need. 

Rules. — Never to offer anything for that which I do not 
require. On arriving at a hall, to invite some lady to dance, 
and to take with her one turn in a polka or a waltz. 

This evening I must think out ways and means, and set 
my affairs in order. Meanwhile, stay at home. 

February 28th. — I have lost much time. At first worldly 
pleasures led me away ; then a void opened in my 
soul, and I abandoned all these pursuits, or such of them 
as had for their object only my own personality. Long it 
tormented me that I harboured not a single heartfelt 
thought or sentiment which would condition for me every- 
thing ... in life. I always seem to act at random. 
But now I seem to have hit upon the heartfelt thought, 
upon the permanent aim, for which I have long been 
striving, but which only now I have recognized not merely 
as an idea^ but as an idea having kinship with my soul. 

Programme for to-morrow. 

To rise at 9 ; to occupy myself with the Encyclopaedia 
of Law ; to make an abstract ; to attend requiem mass, 

1 Barbara Evgrafovna Chertova, who had been given a title 
(the widow of a general, vide footnote on p. 48). She formerly 
lived at Kazan where she probably made the acquaintance of the 
Tolstoy family. In her youth she had the reputation of being a 
great beauty. K. N. Bulich mentions her in his Memoirs {vide 
the Vestnik Evropy, No. 8, 1903). She was known in Moscow 
as the president of the Board of Guardians of the Poor and of the 
Moscow Council of Infant Schools. She was 100 years old when 
she died (1803-1903). — Ed. 

2 P. I. M. (or P. N. M. ?). Judging by the similarity of this 
entry with others of Tolstoy the letter P indicates " Prince." 
The other two letters probably indicate the name and patronymic 
of a person he knew well. Possibly it is Prince N. M. Volkonsky 
{vide footnote on p. 45). — Ed. 

3 These dots are as in the copy. Evidently the copyist could not 
decipher the word begun. — Ed, 


then the gymnasium ; to dine ; from 6 to 12, to spend the 
time either alone or with the Colonist ; not to smoke. 

To remember that fulfilment of that which I have proposed 
for myself constitutes the whole happiness of life, or vice versa. 

March 1st. — Rule. In difficult circumstances, always to 
act on one's first impression. 

Rise at 8.30, and work till 12 ; from 12 to i, music ; 
from I to 2 other occupations ; from 2.30 to 6, rest. 

Not to go in search of acquaintances. Spend the evening at 
home, at work. 

March 2nd. — The chief reason why I have begun to 
slacken is that I am beginning to realize that, much as I 
work at myself, nothing results from it. And this idea 
I have come to hold also through occupying myself ex- 
clusively with will-exercise, regardless of the form in 
which the will be manifested. This error I must try to 
correct. Now I wish to prepare for my graduate's examina- 
tion. Wherefore here lies the form wherein my will 
should find manifestation. Yet it is not sufficient merely 
to take up a notebook and read. It is necessary also to 
prepare for this by working systematically, to procure 
for myself questions on all subjects, and, with their help, 
to frame abstracts. It is necessary also to enUst the help 
of some graduate who can coach and expound. 

To-morrow morning, from 8 to 12, I will begin reading 
through the Encyclopcedia, with Nevolin's ^ comments ; 
at 12 go in search of a graduate ; at 2 do my g3nTinastics ; 
from 6 to nightfall, occupy myself with the Encyclopcedia, 
or some such work, and devote also an hour to music. 

Rule. — In any affair, to remember that the first and only 
condition upon which success depends is patience, and that 
what most hinders any affair, and has done great harm to 
myself, is haste. 

March yd. — From 8 to 1.30, the Encyclopcedia ; from 
1.30 to 4, the riding-school and dinner with Prince 
Audrey Ivanovich ; in the evening, work. 

^ Professor Constantine Alexeyevich Nevolin (1808-1855), author 
Qi An Encyclopcedia of Jurisprudence and other works. — Ed, 


No entries for the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th, 

March yth. — I have found a useful purpose for 
my diary besides definition of my future activities. 
Which purpose is an estimate of each day from the 
point of view of such weaknesses as I should like to 

To-day. — Not for long this morning did I arise : I, 
as it were, shrank from it, deceiving myself ; I read novels 
when I had other work to do ; I said to myself, " First 
I must drink my coffee," as though to apply myself to 
anything before that coffee had been drunk was impossible. 
When speaking to Koloshin I did not call things by their 
right names, since though both of us reahze that our 
preparation for the examination is waste of time, I did not 
express the fact openly. 

I received Poiret ^ over familiarly, and allowed myself to 
yield to his being a stranger, to the presence of Koloshin,^ 
and to a misplaced grand-seigneurish sort of feeling ; so 
that I did my gymnastics hurriedly. Out of fausse honte, 
I failed to make anyone hear at the Gorchakovs' ; while, 
at the Koloshins' I made an awkward exit from the draw- 

* Yakov Viktorovich Poiret (1826-1877), a French citizen, professor 
of gymnastics and of the art of fencing. He had a gymnasium 
in the Petrovka until 1874. Tolstoy, who was very strong and 
adroit by nature, was very fond of all kinds of physical exercises ; 
as can be seen from the last entry he evidently received Poiret for 
the first time on this day ; Poiret later on instructed him in fencing. 
There was also a " Hotel Poiret " in the great Dmitrovka ; the 
house belonged to Ladyzhensky. — Ed. 

* Paul Ivanovich Koloshin (1799-1854), a Decembrist, land- 
owner and translator of military works, and his wife Alexandra 
Grigoryevna, nde Countess Saltykov, ^andaughter of Count Stepan 
Fedorovich Tolstoy (a remote relation of L. N. Tolstoy). His 
eldest son Sergey was a friend of Tolstoy's (concerning him vide 
footnote on p. 45). Of the other sons, Dmitry was an ofi&cial, and 
Valentine, who took part in the Crimean Campaign, was killed at 
Sebastopol in 1855. (He is mentioned in the subsequent volumes 
of the Diary.) Their daughters were Alexandra Pavlovna, who 
died of cholera in 1848, and Sophie Pavlovna. . . . Undoubtedly 
Tolstoy was acquainted with the whole Koloshin family, but 
more mtimately with Sergey Pavlovich and his youngest sister 
" Sonechka," a friend of Tolstoy's childhood and also the object 
of his first child's love ^as he himself confessed. — Ed. 


ing-room — showed too much haste, and in trying to say 
something very amiable, bungled it. 

Again, at the riding-school I yielded to mauvaise humeur, 
and allowed the presence of a lady to lead me to forget the 
matter in hand. At Begichev's ^ I tried to show off and, 
to my shame, fell to imitating Gorchakov. Lastly, the 
same fausse honte proved the cause of my failing to remind 
Ukhtomsky ^ of the money. 

At home I vacillated from the piano to a book, and 
from a book to a meal and a pipe. Never a thought did 
I devote to the peasants. I cannot remember whether 
I lied. Probably I did. 

Through carelessness I failed to go and see both the 
Perfilyevs and the Panins.^ All of which mistakes may 
be referred to one or another of the following tendencies : 

(i) Indecision, want of energy; (2) self-delusion, i.e. a 
tendency to overlook in things the bad when anticipated ; 
(3) haste ; (4) fausse honte, i.e. a fear of doing something 
unbecoming, due to taking a one-sided view of things. 
(5) My evil frame of mind proceeds for the most part : (i) 
from hastiness, (2) superficiaHty of outlook ; (6) confusion 
of thought, i.e. a tendency to overlook near and useful aims 
in order to appear something different ; (7) imitativeness ; 
(8) want of stability ; (9) want of reflection. 

Engagements for to-morrow. — From 8 to 9, letters to my 
aunt, Nikolinka concerning a cards' loss, to Zagryazhsky * 

1 Vladimir Petrovich Begichev (born at Tula in 1828 and died 
at St Petersburg in 1891), author of a series of humorous works, 
vaudeville, etc. — Ed. 

2 Prince Ukhtomsky ? The Editor is not certain what Ukhtom- 
sky is mentioned here. — Ed. 

2 It is possible that Tolstoy here mentions the Countess Alexandra 
Sergeyevna Panin (1800-1873), nie Tolstoy, who was married to 
Alexander Nikitich Panin. Her father, Sergey Vasilyevich Tolstoy, 
was a lieutenant-captain of the Guards (1771-1831). This branch 
of the Tolstoys (who do not bear the title of Count) springs from 
Audrey Vasilyevich Tolstoy, father of Peter Andreyevich — the 
first Count {vide the genealogical table at the end). The A. S. 
Panin mentioned was related to Tolstoy in the seventh degree. — Ed. 

^ Probably Nikolay Sergeyevich Zagryazhsky (i 824-1 906), 
a landowner of the Tula district, to whom Tolstoy repeatedly 
made cordial reference in his letters to T. A. Ergolsky. — Ed, 


and to the office concerning the money and its division ; 
from 9 to lo, gymnastics ; from lo to ii, music, the 
scales, the waltz and adagio ; from ii to i, Poiret ; from i 
to 2.30, visit to the stud, Volkonsky, Lvov, and Gorchakov ; 
then gymnastics, lunch, a novel, guests and my diary. 

March Sth. — Yesterday it was late before I opened my 
eyes, but eventually I got the better of myself. Then I 
wrote {hurriedly and without reflection), a letter to Niko- 
linka, and also one, in the stupid form which I have now 
adopted, to the office [self-delusion). My gymnastics 
I did carelessly, and with too little balancing of myself 
against my strength. This failing, a deviation from actuality, 
I shall term in general presumption. Frequently I looked 
at myself in the mirror, which is a foolish thing to do ; 
it is physical self-love which can result in nought but what 
is bad and ridiculous. Also, I made a fresh display of 
shyness before Poiret (self-delusion). At the stud I did 
nothing to speak of beyond take the initiative in bowing 
to Golitsin ^ instead of continuing in the direction whither 

1 Prince Sergey Mikhailovich Golitsin (1774-1859), president 
of the Moscow Board of Guardians, curator of the Moscow Education 
District, chamberlain, member of the Council of State, a prominent 
Moscow gentleman universally respected. His wife. Princess 
Evdokia Ivanovna, n&e Izmailov, was a writer on mathematical 
questions ; in society she was called : "La princesse nocturne " 
and "La princesse minuit" (the midnight princess). Their 
house was situated in the Volkhonka, Moscow, and is the property 
of the School of Art and Agriculture (now occupied by the 
" Golitsin School of Rural Economy "). The Prince was the owner 
of immense wealth and, amongst other things, owner of the estate 
" Kuzminki " near Moscow, and of several tens of thousands of serfs ; 
at the time mentioned (1851) he already held high rank. 

Tolstoy's annoyance with himself that he "bowed first" to the 
old Prince Golitsin — strange at first sight — is explained by his 
strict attitude towards himself at all times — by his constant 
verification of his feelings and actions. Here evidently he was 
troubled by the thought : does not this action imply servility ? 
Might not the prince think that he, young Tolstoy, is trying to get 
into his favour ? An echo of this mood and perhaps of his relations 
with the prince S. M. G. can be found in the novel Cossacks 
(chap, ii.), where it is stated of Olenin, the hero : " He had known 
long that honours and rank were nonsense, but he experienced an 
involuntary pleasure when Prince Sergey approached him at the 
ball and said pleasant things to him." {Vide Complete Works, 


I was bound. Want of self-possession. At gymnastics I 
showed off (boastfulness) . Also I tried to impart to 
Kobylin ^ my candid opinion of myself (petty vanity) ; 
at luncheon I overate myself (gluttony) ; I went to Vol- 
konsky's without first finishing what I had to do (lack of 
continuity) ; I gorged myself upon sweets ; I sat up too 
late ; and I told several falsehoods. 

Engagements for the gth. — From 8 to lo, calculate my 
debts, and write letters to my aunt and Ferzen ^ ; lo to ii, 
do gymnastics ; ii to 12, music ; 12 to 3, call upon Panin, 
the Perfilyevs, the Beers,^ Madame Anikeyev, Begichev, 

vol. ii., chap. ii.). This information, which confirms the supposition 
that this is the Golitsin mentioned in the Diary, has been 
communicated by N. V. Davydov. — Ed. 

1 Nikolay Evgrafovich Kobylin (1827-1865), a landowner of the 
Krapivna district, Government of Tula. — Ed. 

* Possibly Count Paul Karlovich Ferzen, subsequently master 
of the hounds to Alexander II. It is probably he who is men- 
tioned in Tolstoy's letters to his brother Sergey Nikolayevich as 
a St Petersburg acquaintance. — Ed. 

3 The Beers were related to the Counts Tolstoy. . . . Anastasia 
Vladimirovna, n^e Rzhevsky, a cousin of Tolstoy's father, was 
the head of the Beer family which Tolstoy visited at Moscow 
in the 'fifties (near the Red Gate). Anastasia Vladimirovna was 
married to Andrey Andreyevich Beer, who had died before the 
beginning of the 'fifties. She was noted for her oppressive, despotic 
character ; she held in fear the whole family and anyone calling at 
the house : we draw attention to this fact as a possible cause of 
Tolstoy's " timidity " mentioned in his Diary. {Vide entry for 
March 12th further on.) At that time only her daughter Natalia 
Andreyevna (i 809-1 887) and her two nieces Rzhevsky were living 
with her at Moscow. The Beer family was distinguished by the 
exceptionally high level of its mental development ; the Bakunins, 
Stankevich, Granovsky, the Kireyevskys, and others were on 
friendly terms with the Beers. The members of this Beer family 
now living (the grandchildren of Anastasia Andreyevna) possess a 
family archive in which is preserved extensive biographical material 
relating to the nineteenth century, already partially published. Ex- 
tremely interesting and detailed information concerning the Beer 
family and the friendship and falling in love of Natalia Andreyevna 
in her youth with young Nikolay Vladimirovich Stankevich (1835) 
and later with Michael Alexandrovich Bakunin, who was still quite 
young at that time, are given in A. A. Kornylov's monograph : 
Michael Bakunin' s Young Days ; from the History of Russian 
Romanticism, publishd by Sabashnikov, Moscow, 191 5. Chapters 
viii. and xiv. are wholly devoted to the Beer family. {Vide also 
footnote on p. 182, Beersha.) — Ed. 



and the lawyer ; see about money ; lunch with the Gorcha- 
kovs, and inquire about a post ; at home, read and write 
whatsoever shall come into my head ; make an abstract 
of what has been read, or even write it out ; compose a 
journal of my failings (Franklin) .^ 

March gth. — Yesterday it was long before I arose, for 
I lacked energy. Wrote a letter (a harmless one) to 
Islavin.2 Then went for a drive in dirty gloves and minus 

^ Beajamin Franklin {1706- 1 790) . . . was a very humane and 
virtuous man who worked tirelessly all his life at educating 
himself ; he kept a regular journal which represented " Rules for 
Conduct " which he followed strictly. In a special notebook he 
marked each evening with a cross the point in which he had trans- 
gressed during the day. For this purpose he had each time to 
think over and consider all his actions during the day. As he was 
aware that one cannot acquire all good habits at a blow, he each 
week turned his special attention to one such habit, putting it at 
the top of the page. Here is one of the pages of his notebook as an 
example, probably in imitation of which Tolstoy provided himself 
with a similar notebook in his youth. 


Sun. Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. 

Honesty . 
Tidiness . 

Franklin wrote in his 79th year : "I am indebted to my note- 
book for the happiness of my whole life." (According to P. Kor- 
sunsky's booklet Benjamin Franklin, publication No. 59 in 
"Booklet after Booklet"). A similar Journal of Failings was kept 
by Tolstoy for several years, as we can see by further entries, 
in which he mentions the Franklin Journal and the Franklin 
Table {vide the Alphabetical Index). — Ed. 

2 Probably Constantine Alexandrovich Islavin, illegitimate son 
of A. N. Islenyev; he was the uncle (through his mother, nSe 
Islavin) of Sophie Andreyevna Bers, later L. N. Tolstoy's wife. 
Further on Tolstoy calls him " Kostinka." — Ed. 

+ - 

- — 



+ — 

+ - 




+ — 


- + 

- + 

+ — 




— — 


a fur coat (want of thought, haste). Told Panin of my 
building scheme (desire to show off). Visited Olivier's^ 
and the Beers, and (at both showed indecision and shy- 
ness). At the Gorchakovs' (false shame, and desire to 
show off). Called upon Kireyevsky without any reason 
(want of solidity, sh5mess). 

Engagements for the loth. — Rise at 8 ; from 8 to 9, 
letters ; from 9 to 11, music ; from 11 to i, fencing ; from 
I to 2.30, the Anikeyevs and a walk ; gymnastics, dinner 
with Lvov, in the evening, reading and this diary. 

March 10th. — Again did not rise till late. Spoke amiss 
to Ozerov, and pressed upon him a horse. Meanness, 
Poiret. Deception and haste. Lied to Begichev that I 
was acquainted with the Siberian Gorchakovs. Left my 
fur coat behind [haste and want of solidity). At the Council 
showed diffidence ; at gymnastics, vanity ; at the Lvovs' 
presumption and affectation. Omitted to make any trans- 
criptions — sloth. Even my journal of failings am writing 
hastily and without care. 

Occupations for March 11th. — Arrange about an under- 
jacket and the horse. Until 10 o'clock, this 'diary, the 
Franklin journal, and letters ; from 10 to 11, gymnastics ; 
from II to 12, music ; until 6, a walk, and dinner ; from 
6 onwards, notes and reading. 

March nth. — Wrote a good letter, though rather hastily, 
and did gymnastics hurriedly. At Islenyev's ^ showed 
lack of dignite : and again at the riding-school {absence of 

1 Osip Antonovich Olivier. He was a hairdresser in the Petrovka 
and also keeper of a restaurant " Ermitage." — Ed. 

2 Alexander Mikhailovich Islenyev, uncle (through her mother) 
of Countess Sophie Andreyevna Tolstoy (Bers), or one of his sons. 
Tolstoy in his Reminiscences of My Childhood, when speaking of his 
brother Dmitry says : "It was the youngest son of Islenyev who 
seduced him ; he had a very attractive appearance but was a 
thoroughly immoral man " {vide Complete Works, vol. i., p. 290). 
In a letter to T. A. Ergolsky from Moscow (Dec. 24, 1850), Tolstoy 
writes : " Why are you so incensed at Islenyev ? If it is with the 
purpose of separating me from him it is useless because he is no 
longer in Moscow." (L. N. Tolstoy's Complete Works, vol. xxi., 
p. 105). Tolstoy's Letters to his Wife (Moscow, 1915) contain a series 
of scathing remarks concerning Islenyev. — Ed. 


mind). Waited for dinner — diffidence. Too frank with 
Begichev (desire to show off). At Mitikov's (?) showed 
shyness, a desire to show off and disregard of my rules. 

For the 12th. From 10 to 11, business in connection 
with horses : from 11 to 3, concert and Poiret — no, from 
II to 3, concert, the Volkonskys and dinner : in the even- 
ing, notes and reading. Concert and reading. Early to bed. 

March 12th. — Badly, badly, badly did I spend yesterday ! 
To-morrow I will explain how it was. It came of the fact 
that I lay down at 3 o'clock, and Zubkov ^ called. 

Engagements.— From 8 to 9, the diary ; from 9 to 10, 
gymnastics ; from 10 to 12, reading and notes ; from 10 
to 2, Beers, the Muromtsevs, and the Dyakovs ; from 2 
to 4, gymnastics and dinner ; from 6 to 10, reading and 
writing, or else Zubkov. 

Yesterday. — Was not, throughout, myself (i) because I 
had not had my sleep out, (2) because my stomach was 
upset. Shall I ever come to realize what I can do — i.e. 
to know beforehand just what I can bear, and what I 
cannot ? 

Rule. — When desirous of anything, physical or moral, 
consider whether the fulfilment of it will not afford more 
labour than advantage. If so, do not translate it into action. 

Yesterday, after rising, I fenced, lost my head, went to 
see Mile. Beer, failed to speak to her of the business — shy- 
ness. Was too much in a hurry, omitted to make the ac- 
quaintance of her brother ^ (shyness), left the Beer's house, 
expecting something extraordinary to occur without any 
reason, and went to play cards in a mood of over-self-reliance. 

At the Volkonsky's fell asleep — weakness. Went home 
without my fur coat — absence of mind. From the concert 

1 Zubkov. In one of Tolstoy's later letters to Mme. Ergolsky this 
name is mentioned amongst the number of Tolstoy's acquaintances in 
Moscow who evidently were not intimate friends. " You will think 
that I am playing and will play again ; have your mind at ease — 
it is an exception I have allowed myself only in regard to Mr 
Zubkov." (Complete Works, vol. xxi., p. 107.) — Ed. 

2 Probably Alexis Andreyevich Beer, brother of Natalia Andre- 
yevna. (Constantine, another brother, died in 1847. See footnote 
on p. 60.) — Ed. 


to Chevalier's.'^ At the concert expected something special. 
Did not go up to Per. when I had a great mind to. 

In life it is a faculty of great importance that one should 
be able swiftly to transfer attention from one subject to 
another. This I have remarked more particularly after 
spasms of joy or grief. 

A rule. — When a matter which has been occupying you 
ceases to call for effort, turn your attention to another subject 
or occupation. 

March i^th. — Yesterday morning I forgot to write to 
Zubkov, and felt too lazy to do transcription. Sloth. 
Zhdanov ^ arrived and I went to see Islenyev when I had 
other affairs to attend to. Faint-heartedness and thought- 

At gymnastics wrestled with Bilye ^ — lack of pride, of 
fierte. Went to a confectioner's — gluttony. At home 
proved too lazy to make notes. When with Islavin, 
wanted to show off, and the same at Beer's, while evincing 

Engagements for the 14th. — From 8 to 9, reading, notes, 
and other business ; from 9 to 10, gymnastics ; from 10 
to II, Poiret ; from 11 to 12, writing ; from 12 to 3, visits 
to Muromtsev, the Dyakovs, and the stud ; from 3 to 5, 
dinner ; from 5 until evening, reading and writing, 
Zubkov, or the concert. Read up subject of fencing. 

March i^th. — Rose reluctantly — sloth. Was too sloth- 
ful to copy out extracts — absent-mindedness ; too slothful 
to read. Told Koloshin and the Dyakovs lies—falsehood. 
At Lvov's said much, but did not call things by their 
right names — self-deception. 

For the 15th. From 8 to 9, reading and writing ; from 

^ Hippolyte Chevalier's hotel and restaurant (fashionable at 
that time) in Staro-Gazetny Lane. In a fragment of his unfinished 
novel The Decembrists (chap, ii), Tolstoy describes with a fair 
amount Jof detail this restaurant and its role in the life of the gay, 
rich young aristocrats of the 'fifties. — Ed. 

* Rich landowner related to the Beers ; there were four brothers : 
Ivan, Orest, Vasily, and Nikanor Grigoryevich. There was another 
Zhdanov, Nikolay Mikhailovich (1812-1879) a Tula nobleman. — Ed. 

' A well-known strong man and gymnast. — Ed. 


9 to 10, gymnastics and other affairs ; from ii to i, con- 
cerning sale of the stud . . . , a walk, gymnastics, and 
dinner ; until evening, reading, writing, and Zubkov. 
A bath. 

March i^th, — Rose reluctantly — sloth. Wrote nothing 
at all — sloth. In thoughtlessness invited Koloshin to 
attend the sale of my horse at auction. Showed diffidence, 
shyness. At gymnastics proved satisfactory. At dinner 
displayed gluttony. At home did nothing — sloth. When 
with Kostinka,^ spoke with too much abstraction, and 
showed insufficient firmness, both moral and physical. 

To-morrow. From 8 to 9 reading and writing ; from 9 
to 10, gymnastics ; from 10 to 11, a note to Zubkov and 
letters to Audrey ^ and Volkonsky ; from 11 to i, visits to 
the Beers and Islenyev ; from i to 2, the Gorchakovs ; 
from 2 to 4, a ride ; in the evening, writing. 

I have sat up till i o'clock. 

March 16th. — Rose reluctantly — sloth ; wrote nothing, 
partly because I had nothing to write, and partly owing 
to sloth, to want of thoughtfulness. At the Beers' showed 
diffidence, absence of mind ; at Morel's ^ diffidence^ absence 
of mind and gluttony ; in the evening, lack of fortitude. 

To-morrow shall be the last time that I allow myself 
to play — in tlie morning with Kulikovsky, and, in the even- 
ing, with Zubkov. 

1 K. A. Islavin. {Vide footnote, p. 6i.) — Ed. 

* Andrey Ilyin, steward of Yasnaya Polyana, evidently the 
man to whom Tolstoy in Reminiscences of My Childhood (1903) 
refers as follows : " As we children were returning from a walk with 
our tutor, we met, near the barn, the fat steward, Andrey Ilyin, 
and we were struck by the sad appearance of Kuzma who walked 
behind him ; Kuzma was a married, elderly man. One of us 
inquired of Andrey Ilyin whither he was going, and he replied calmly 
that he was bound for the barn where he was to flog Kuzma. I 
cannot describe the horrible feeling produced in me by the words, 
coupled with the sight of the good, despondent Kuzma.'* — Ed. 

^ Hotel and restaurant in the Axbat (in the district of the church 
of St Boris and St Gleb). The proprietress was distinguished for her 
beauty (according to the tales of old inhabitants of Moscow) . We 
have reason to suppose that Tolstoy not only visited this restaurant 
but that he knew the proprietress personally. — Ed. 



Engagements for the lyth. — Rose at 9.30 ; until 11, 
fencing ; from 11 to 12, read through the rules of play, 
and send invitations for the evening to Begichev, Ukhtom- 
sky, and Talyzin ^ ; from 12 to 2, either play cards, keep 
engagements with the Beers and Islenyev, or read ; then 
gymnastics ; dinner at the Gorchakovs' ; in the evening, 
rules of play and of life, with remarks thereon ; later, 
until 12, play. 

March lyth. — Sloth, absence of mind, lack of firmness, 
want of character, rashness in play. 

For the i8th. From 12 to i, give orders ; from i to 
2, Ozerov, Beer, Islenyev, Morel's, Volkonsky ; from 2-4-, 
a ride and Kulikovsky. Dine (cheaply) at home ; in the 
evening, and until 8, gymnastics, reading, and writing. 
From 4 to 12, play. 

For the igth. From 9 to 11, gymnastics and fencing ; 
from II to 3, sleep ; from 3 to 5, a walk and a ride ; from 
5 to 7, dinner and a rest ; from 7 to 11, writing in this 

March igth. — Throughout these two days I have been 
indolent. Apathy and a tendency to vanity. 

For the 20th. From 8 to 9, read ; from 9 to 10, gym- 
nastics ; from 10 to 11, Islenyev ; from 11 to i, a walk and 
Sollogub ; from i to 2, a ride ; from 2 to 3, gymnastics ; 
dine at home ; in the evening, read and write. 

March 20th. — Rose late. Failed to make anyone hear 
at Islenyev's, and went down the steps again. Lack of 
fierte. Did not call upon Sollogub either. Not that it 
was necessary to do so, what was necessary was that I 
should do what I had set myself. Visited Kulikovsky 
and Hop. (?) in aimless fashion and with a view to possible 
play. Expectancy and the passion for gambling. Showed 
myself slothful in writing my letters. During the evening 
wrote nothing at all. Sloth. 

Engagements for the 21st. — From 8 to 10, to read Lamar- 

* Alexander Stepanovich Talyzin (i 795-1 858) and his wife Olga 
Nikolayevna {nee Countess Zubov) ; their children were : Anatole, 
Stepan, and Peter, and five daughters. — Ed. 


tine,^ my own writing, and to write. From lo to ii, 
fencing ; from ii to 2, visits to Beer, the office of the chief 
of poHce, Ozerov, and Beklemishev. From 2 to 4, to ride. 
From 4 to 6 to dine. In the evening, to read and to write. 

Two principal passions which I have noted in myself 
are a passion for play and vanity ; which latter is the 
more dangerous in that it assumes a countless multitude 
of different forms, such as a desire to show off, want of 
reflection, absence of mind, and so on. This evening I 
will read over my diary from the day of my arrival in 
Moscow, make some general notes, and audit my debts 
and expenses in Moscow. 

I have come to Moscow with three aims : (i) to play, 
(2) to marry, (3) to obtain a post. 

The first of these is mean and low, and, thank God, 
after reviewing the position of my affairs, and renouncing 
my prejudices I have decided to correct and to set in order 
those affairs by the sale of a portion of my property. The 
second, thanks to the wise advice of my brother Nikolay, 
I have hitherto left to the time when I may be constrained 
either by love or by convenience or even by fate — which 
latter cannot be opposed in ever3rthing. The last will be 
impossible until after 2 years' service in the Province ; 
and, to tell the truth, I have no desire for it, but desire 
many other things . . . [an undecipherable word^^. Hence 
I must wait until fate itself shall set me in such a position. 

Of late I have had many weaknesses. Above all, I have 
paid but little attention to moral rules, and been led away 
by rules necessary for success. Next, I have been taking 
too narrow a view of things. For instance, I have been 
setting myself many rules which might all have been con- 
joined into one — to have no vanity ; forgetting that an 
indispensable condition of success is reliance upon oneself, 
and a contempt for trifles which cannot proceed otherwise 
than from moral non-exaltation. 

^ Alphonse de Prat de Lamartine (1790- 1869), a well-known 
French poet and politician, and author of A History of the Girondins, 
which Tolstoy was then engaged in reading. — Ed. 


March 20th} — This morning I spent in reading silid 
writing. I wrote little, for I was not in the right humour 
to do so, and felt disinclined even to correct what I had 

Rule. — It is better to attempt a thing capable of repetition 
and to spoil it, than to do nothing at all. 

With Poiret did good work. Then went for a walk, and 
visited the Chancellory. At the Beers' was for showing 
off, and the same again at the riding school. Also, through 
absence of mind forgot to take luncheon. In the evening 
felt idle, and called upon the Volkonskys, where I com- 
ported myself well, save that I addressed an impertinent 
remark to Volkonsky ? — *' Fertile Rural . . ." ^ 

For the 21st. From 8 to 10, reading and writing ; from 
10 to II, gymnastics ; from 11 to 2, visits to Beklemishev ^ 
and Ozerov, on the subject of money in general ; also, 
to the Arbat Quarter and to Volkov ^ ; from 2 onwards, 
accounts and expenses in Moscow ; from 2 to 4, gymnastics ; 
from 4 to 6, dinner ; from 6 to 12, study. 

1 have spent about 1200 roubles ; lost in hard cash 
about 250 ; and failed to repay to date 1750. I have 
received from the posting-station about 150 roubles, and 
lost about 200 quarters of oats. Total, 3650. 

March 21st. — I spent the time not altogether amiss, 
save for lack of firmness, which led me to itch to show 
off. Dined at home ; did and thought nothing about the 

^ Second entry for the same date. — Ed. 

2 Evidently an unfinished quotation. — Ed. 

3 Either Dmitry Ivanovich Beklemishev (181 8-1 893), a land- 
owner of Tula, or Sergey Ivanovich Beklemishev, who died in 1865. 

* Possibly Alexander Alexandrovich Volkov, a general of gendar- 
mery, and his wife Sophie Alexandrovna, nSe Rimsky-Korsakov, 
the daughter of the well-known Maria Ivanovna R.-K. {nie Naumov, 
the widow of a chamberlain of the time of Catherine II.), in her time 
was known throughout the whole of Moscow as a hospitable hostess 
and a " great hand at arranging parties and festivities. ..." 

Another Volkov, A. S., is mentioned by Tolstoy in his letter from 
the Caucasus to T. A. Ergolsky (1851) : Alexeyev, commander of 
the battery, reminds him of "A. S. Volkov, but he is not such a 
hypocrite as the latter . ' ' — Ed . 


money. Self-delusion. Also, wrote too hurriedly ex- 
tracts, remarks, and this diary. 

I may write a good book, a life of Tatyana Alexandrovna.^ 
To-morrow must rise at 8 ; from 8 to lo, read and 

1 Tolstoy regarded her life as a model of self-sacrifice and 
service of others. In his Reminiscences Tolstoy thus begins the 
chapter on T. A. : " After my father and mother, the third most 
important person in the sense of influencing my life was Tatyana 
Alexandrovna Ergolsky — ' Auntie ' as we used to call her. She 
was a remote relation of my grandmother through the Gorchakovs." 
Chap. i. of Tolstoy's Reminiscences of My Childhood, written in 1903, 
is devoted to her. ... To characterize the touching filial relations 
between Tolstoy and T. A. Ergolsky we permit ourselves to quote 
from his letters to her from the Caucasus, which contain, for in- 
stance, lines like the following : " Your letter made me shed tears. 
All your letters for some time act upon me in the same way. I have 
always been Lyova the cry-baby. At first I was ashamed of my 
weakness, but the tears I shed when thinking of you and of your 
love to us, are so joyful that I let them fall without any false shame. 
You ask God to send you death, the greatest misfortune which 
might overtake me (this is not a phrase, but God be my witness that 
the two greatest misfortunes which might overtake me would be your 
death and that of Nikolenka — of the two people whom I love more 
than myself). . . . When I make plans for my personal happiness 
the thought that you will share it with me and profit by it never 
forsakes me. When I do something good I am satisfied with myself 
because I know that you will be satisfied with me. When I act 
badly what!I fear most of all is to grieve you. I am afraid you may 
think I am 'exaggerating, but I am shedding bitter tears as I write 
to you. . . ." Tiflis, Jan. 6th, 1852. . . . And further : "Again 
I am shedding tears ; whatever misfortunes may overtake me I 
shall never regard myself as quite unhappy as long as you live. 
Do you remember our parting at the Iversky chapel, when we were 
leaving for Kazan ? At that time, as if by inspiration, at the very 
moment of parting I grasped all you were to me and, although 
still a child, with tears and a few fragmentary words I managed 
to convey to you what I felt. The present feeling is much more 
powerful and more elevated than it has been at any other time. 
Formerly, when I read your letters in which you spoke of your 
feeUng for me it seemed to me that you exaggerated. Only on 
re-reading your letters I understood your boundless love for us 
and your lofty mind. . . . You know that perhaps my only good 
quality is delicacy of feeling. The happiest moments of my life 
are indebted to this quality." Mozdock Sta., Jan. 12, 1852. {Vide 
Tolstoy's Complete Works, vol. xxi., pp. 120-121.) 

After having lived for many years with the Tolstoy family, 
T. A. died at Yasnaya Polyana on June 20, 1874, aged 79, and 
was buried in the neighbourhood, near the parish church of the 


write ; from lo to ii, do gymnastics ; from ii to 12, see 
to money affairs, pay a visit to the stud, and attend the 
Council ; until 4, ride ; dine at home. Also, I must begin 
this diary and my notes earlier. In the evening, go out 
for a couple of hours. 

For the development of all one's faculties gymnastics 
are indispensable. Gymnastics of the memory exist : 
every day I ought to learn something by heart. The 
English language. 

March 23rd. — Rose at 8.30, and read and wrote but, 
did not correct what I had written. Self-deception. At 
gymnastics was lazy ; at Koloshin's diffident ; at the 
Beer's over-expressive of my views, of my manner of life, 
desire to expatiate. Dined with Volkonsky, and spoke 
much of myself. Desire to expatiate. In the evening 
read without method, want of thought. At the concert 
did not approach Zakrevsky, diffidence. Bowed to 
Ukhtomsky, diffidence. Could not bow to Madame Lvov, 
diffidence. At home sat up with Kostinka, until after 
12. Want of decision. 

Rule. — To endeavour to form a style (1) in conversa- 
tion, (2) in writing. 

For the 24th. Rise at 9 ; until 12, read and write ; 
from 12 to 2, pay visits to Ozerov, Beklemiskev, and 
Lvov ; from 2 to 4.30, letters ; from 4.30 to 6, dinner ; 
from 6 to 8, the English language ; from 8 to 10, Volkonsky ; 
from 10 to 12, write up my diary, and frame rules for 
development of style. Make correct translation. 

March 24th. — Rose a little late, and read, but could 
do no writing. On Poire arriving, we started fencing ; I 
could not bring myself to dismiss him. Sloth and diffidence. 
Ivanov arrived, and I talked with him too long. Diffidence. 
Later Koloshin (Sergey) looked in for vodka, and I fore- 
bore to get rid of him — diffidence. At Ozerov's, disputed 
the subject of stupidity [addiction to quarrelling) and 

Kochaki village, on the Tula highway ; Tolstoy's parents and his 
daughter Maria Lvovna (who died in 1906) are also buried there. 


forgot to mention what was really necessary. Diffidence. 
Omitted to visit Beklemishev {feebleness of energy). At 
gymnastics, failed to walk the bars, cowardice, or to do a 
certain trick because of its hurting me (tenderness). 

At Gorchakov's told a lie — mendacity. Visited the 
Novo-Troitsky restaurant ^ {lack of fierte), at home omitted 
to study the English language {).ack of determination) ; at 
Volkonsky's showed myself unnatural and ill at ease ; 
and sat up till one {non-self-control, desire to expatiate, 
and weakness of character). 

For the 2Sth. From lo to ii, diary of the previous 
day, and reading ; from ii to 12, gymnastics ; from 12 
to I, the EngUsh language ; from i to 2, Becklemishev 
and Beer ; from 2 to 4, a ride ; from 4 to 6, dinner ; from 
6 to 8, reading ; from 8 to 10, writing and translation 
from foreign languages for the development of memory and 

Record notes of to-day, with the thoughts and impres- 
sions which the day is now engendering. 

March, 2^th. — Rose late — sloth. Wrote up my diary 
and did gymnastics. Showed haste. Through sloth, again, 
did not study the English language. At Begichev's and 
Islavin's showed vanity, and, at Beklemishev's, diffidence 
and lack of fierte. 

On the Tverskoy Boulevard tried to show off, and owing 
to tenderness did not proceed to the Kalymazhny Dvor on 
foot, but drove thither out of a desire for display. For 
the same reason drove to Ozerov's. Omitted to return 
to the Kalymazhny Dvor — want of thoughtfulness. At 
Gorchakov's failed to maintain reticence, or to call things 
by their right names — self-delusion. Visited Lvov simply 
out of lack of energy and usedness to doing nothing. At 
home sat up late through absence of mind, and read 
Werther ^ without heeding what I was doing — haste. 

For the 26th. Rise at 5, and, until 10, work at history 

^ The Novo-Troitsky restaurant was kept by Gurin at the spot 
where Testov's restaurant is now situated. — Ed. 
* Goethe's Sorrows of Young Werther. — Ed. 


of to-day ; from lo to 12, fence and read ; from 12 to i, 
study the English language, and, if anything hinders me, 
do it in the evening ; from i to 3, take a walk ; from 4, 
read ; from 4 to 6, dine, read, and write. 

March 26th. — Rose an hour later than I had set myself 
to do, but wrote and fenced well, though studjdng the 
English language in haste, and with self-deception. Zubkov 
called and I felt both a desire to play and a fear that I 
should not be able to refrain. Then for a walk, with a 
desire to show off. At the riding school told Ermolov^ 
a lie. Dined at home, and omitted to attend gymnastics 
— sloth. Spent the evening well. 

For the 2'jth. Rise at 5 ; until 11, write ; from 11 to 
2, read, write a letter to Tatyana Alexandrovna, and 
study the Enghsh language ; from 2 to 7, gymnastics, 
dinner, and a rest ; from 7 to 10, read. 

March 2yth. — Until 11, employed myself in writing, 
but hastily. Received Beklemishev in my shirt-sleeves, 
and did not call things by their right names, but showed 
shyness. Also, lost my stick — absence of mind. At 
Beklemishev's behaved even as at my own place. At 
gymnastics worked hastily and without system, and with 
a desire to show off. At Morel's evinced gluttony. From 
8 to 11.30 evinced drowsiness and sloth. 

For the 28th. From 5 to 9, write ; from 9 to 11, other 
work ; from 11 to 3, read and go for a ride and a walk ; 
from 3 to 5, dine ; from 5 to 8, read and take a bath ; 
from 8 to 10, the EngUsh language. In the morning 
complete my description of the evening, and fair copy it. 

March 28th. — Maria has called concerning her pass- 
port. [28]. 

Rose late, and wrote little. Sloth. Visited Ozerov and 
Beklemishev ; with Ozerov at the restaurant and on horse- 
back — showed want of discrimination and fierte. Dined, 
and, after dinner, at Beklemishev's showed want of 

* Perhaps it is the famous A. P. Ermolov mentioned here who, 
as is known, lived in retirement in Moscow during the last years 
of his life. {Vide footnote to the entry for March 30, 1821, on 
p. 143.)— Ed. 


character and decision. Read. At Volkonsky's showed 
diffidence and self-delusion. 

For the 2gth. From 5 to lo, write ; from lo to 2, 
business matters ; from 2 to 4, gymnastics ; from 4 to 6, 
dinner ; from 6 to 8, writing ; from 8 to 10, Volkonsky. 

March 2gih. — In my writing showed sloth and haste ; 
in my business affairs absence of mind ; in my gymnastics 
faintheartedness. Dined, did no writing at all, and visited 
Volkonsky ? and Kulikovsky ; was minded to flay 
a little. 

For the ■2,0th. From 5 to 11, reading and writing ; from 
II to I, letters and business dispositions ; from i to 2.30, 
a ride ; from 2.30 to 4, a walk, dinner at home, and 

March 30^/j. — Rose at 7, and, until 10, did writing in 
sorry fashion. At 10 attended requiem mass. In church 
bore myself awkwardly. Vanity. At 4, on the Tverskoy 
Boulevard, omitted to salute Orlov.^ Diffidence. A ride 
in the country. Dined, read, and went early to bed for 
the reason that I had overeaten myself and lack stamina. 

Rise at 6 ; until i, read ^ ; from i to 4, walk, and do 
gymnastics ; from 4 to 6, dine ; from 6 to 10, write. 

March ^ist. — Read, but did not write up this diary. 
Read later until 12. From 12 to 2, conversed with 
Begichev too frankly — showed vanity and self-delusion ; 
from 2 to 4 did gjrmnastics — want of courage and of patience ; 
from 4 to 6, dined and made some necessary purchases. 
At home did no writing — sloth. Could not for long decide 
to visit the Volkonskys. Having arrived, spoke feebly 
— shyness. Bore myself badly. Shyness, vanity, want of 
thought, weakness, sloth. 

April 2nd. — From 5 to 10, fair copy ; from 10 to 12, 
prepare for my departure. 

April ^rd. Yasnaya Polyana. — On the 2nd: from 5 
to 10 I read, then called upon the Volkonskys and the 

* Orlov (Countess ?). This name is in italics in the copy. — Ed. 
2 In the copy stood the words : " Rose at 6, until i played " ; 
we correct an obvious mistake. — Ed. 


Gorchakovs. Paraded the boulevard, vanity. Begichev 
offered money which I neither accepted nor decHned — 
showing self-deception. During the journey comported 
myself well. Was weak with Shcherbatov ; at the 
Arsenyevs' ^ languid. En route was untidy. 

From 5 to 7, reading and writing ; from 7 to 10, business 
with the starosta and Audrey Ilyin ; from 10 to 12, a walk, 
or piano practice ; expedition to Pirigovo ^ ; in the even- 
ing, reading and writing. 

April 4th. — Through sloth, rose late, went for a walk, 
and visited the office. Audrey not there. Neglected to 
play the piano. Sloth, indecision. In the evening went 
to sleep. Somnolence. 

For the $th. From 5 to 7, matins ; from 7 to 9, Audrey 
Ilyin ; from 9 to 11, reading and writing ; from 11 
to 12, gymnastics ; at 12, to Pirogovo ; in the evening, 

April $th. — During the morning employed myself 
well. Later went out hunting, and to Pirogovo. Want 
of solidity. Told lies at Serezha's : and showed vanity 
and shyness. 

For the 6th. From 8 to 10, writing ; from 10 to 11, 
Mass ; from 12 to 4, dinner ; from 4 to 6, reading ; from 
6 to 10, writing. 

April 6th. — Performed nothing, but lied, and showed 
much vanity. Also, made preparation ^ carelessly, and 
with absence of mind. Am preoccupied with an affair 
connected with Gilke."^ After dinner must write an 
account of it. Have a mind to write some homilies. 

1 We may suppose that it is this family with which Tolstoy became 
very intimate in 1856 ; at one time he was considered to be engaged 
to Valerie Vladimirovna Arsenyev (this fact is mentioned in the 
subsequent Diaries). The Arsenyevs were landowners of Tula; 
their estate Sudakovo lies in the neighbourhood of Yasnaya Polyana. 

2 The estate of Sergey Nikolayevich, Tolstoy's brother, situated 
some 25 miles from Yasnaya Polyana. — Ed. 

' For the Easter Sacrament. — Trans. 

^ Probably a colonist, an old tenant at Yasnaya Polyana. {Vide 
the entry for Feb. 28, 1851.) — Ed. 


April yth. — Sloth and weakness. [4]]. To-morrow will 
be Easter Day. 

April 8th, Easter. — Wrote a homily, but indolently, 
weakly, with diffidence. 

April 14th, gth, 10th, 11th, 12th, i^th, and 14th. — Spent 
time at Yasnaya and Tula, and visited Shcherbatov, 
Chulkov, and Arsenyev (did not send for Gilke) ; journey 
from Pirogovo. At Pokrovskoye bore myself unnaturally, 
and showed childishness. 

April 14th. Yas. Pol. — From 7 to 10, give Nikolay^ 
his orders, and do gymnastics 10 to 12, take a walk, and 
write letters to Volkonsky and Kostinka ; 12 to i, lunch ; 
I to 6, go hunting ; in the evening, visit Serezha, and 
write description of a dream. 

Gave Nikolay his orders superficially ; did gymnastics 
thoughtlessly ; only the writing done well. Nurse com- 
plained of money wasted in drink. Went hunting without 
enthusiasm. In the evening did no writing, and shall 
retire early, so as to rise the sooner, and to set to work 
the more actively. 

For the i^th. From 5 to 8, writing ; from 8 to 9, music 
and tea ; from 9 to 11, gymnastics ; from 11 to i, reduce 
to a certain order my affairs before my departure, but 
without hurrying. 

From I to 10, luncheon, writing, reading and a walk. 

April i^th. — Rose late — at 8 o'clock. Sloth and in- 
decision. Did g3minastics well, played the piano with 
haste, read similarly, dined with my aunt T. A. Ergolsky, 
and disputed with her. Lack of fierte. After dinner, 
spent evening in prowling about and experiencing voluptu- 
ous desires. 

April 16th. — From 7 to 12, read, and did gymnastics 
—^neither of them well ; from 12 to i, lunched ; from i to 
2, slept ; from 2 to 7, went hunting ; from 7 to 9, read ; 
from 9 to 10.30, engaged in music. 

April lyth. — Yesterday wrote nothing. Sloth over- 
came me. Will to-day begin a description of a day's 
^ Probably a servant of Tolstoy's. — Ed. 


sport. Had a long talk with my aunt, who, though very 
land and high-minded, is also very one-sided. She can feel 
and think in one rut alone — nothing more. Am troubled 
with voluptuousness. ([38]]. 

There is no better means of deciding whether one has 
advanced in anjrthing than that of testing oneself in one's 
former mode of action. If one would learn whether or not 
one has developed, one should submit oneself to a previous 
standard. Four months' absence from home finds me 
in the same setting as before. Even in point of indolence 
I am practically the same as of old, though my ability 
to deal with subordinates has undergone some slight im- 
provement. But the only respect in which I have made 
real advance is my frame of mind. 

April 18th. — Yesterday could not forbear signalling 
to someone in a pink dress who looked comely from a 
distance. Opened the back door, and she entered. Could 
not even see her ; all seemed foul and repellent, and I 
actually hated her for having caused me to break my rule. 
In a general way I am feeling something of the hatred 
which one feels for people to whom one cannot explain 
that one does not like them, but who have the right to 
suppose that one is kindly disposed towards them. A sense 
of duty, a sense of revulsion — both spoke against it. |[8]1. 

I repented terribly ; never before have I felt this as 
now. But it is a step forward. 

April igth. — Nikolinka, Valerian, and Masha ^ have 
arrived. To-morrow I go to Tula for decision of the 
question of the type of service post which is to be mine, and 
shall surrender Vorotynka for 16,000 roubles. Through 
country life I have become more religious than formerly. 

April 20th. . . . En route from Yasn. Pol. to Moscow, 
Kazan, the Caucasus. 

May 20th. — Have omitted posting my diary up to this 
20th May. Yet I shall recall the month day by day. 
And a very interesting one it has been. Very interesting 

^ Tolstoy's brother Nikolay Nikolayevich, his sister and her 
husband, Count Valerian Petrovich Tolstoy. — Ed. 

r-f; :-. 

<=2^o t^o-uytbzj 

a^ ym£y y^'97t^ .c^Jt^j d^^h/l^'le /cyl ^t£^ ^o^ccoa^^j /S^'/. 


too has been the time spent in Moscow, owing to my 
present attitude, my contempt for society, the unending 
struggle that is in process within me.^ Returned to 
the estate, Tula; Shcherbatov very kind and civil. 
Arsenyev ill ; I came to Yasnaya for mass. At Pirogovo. 
Masha ^ and Serezha [2]]. The goveniye ^ — homilies. 
A let ... to Yasnaya. To Tula. Islenev, Chulkov, 
Perfilyev . . . Arsenyev, and, one evening Gartung.* 
A few days at Pokrovskoye — Valerian and Masha. Re- 
turned to Tula. At Yasnaya. To Tula, Islenyev, 
Seleznev. Moscow, Kostinka, Zubkov, Nikolinka. 
The tour ^ : At Kazan. The Shuvalovs,^ Zybin,'^ 

^ One explanation of this stern attitude towards himself is to 
be found in a letter to T. A. Ergolsky, wherein Tolstoy describes, 
in jesting form, his sojourn in Moscow after his expedition to Kazan. 
" Our journey was very successful in point of weather and of the 
road, and afterwards we spent two days in Moscow, where I called 
upon Audrey and Sergey Gorchakov and the Volkonskys. Also 
I saw Lvov, Koloshin, and Kostenka — in fact, all whom I am 
delighted to meet. At the same time, the weather when I went for 
a sfxoll in the Sokolinki was horrible, and I met none of the ladies 
whom I should have liked to have beheld. Also, being, as you say, 
a man engaged in putting himself to the test, I descended among 
the people, and visited a camp of Tziganes. You will easily imagine 
what a struggle arose within me — a struggle for and against ! 
However, I issued triumphant. That is to say those cheerful 
descendants of the great Pharaohs got from me nothing save my 
blessing." Kazan, April, 1851. — Ed. 

2 Maria Mikhailovna, Countess Tolstoy, nSe Shishkin, wife of 
Count Sergey Nikolayevich Tolstoy, a gipsy by birth. — Ed. 

2 Preparation for the Sacrament. — Trans. 

* Major-General L. N. Gartung, director of remounts in the 
military district of Moscow. — Ed. 

^ Concerning this tour in the Caucasus (of which tour, as of 
Tolstoy's subsequent entry into the army, the idea was suggested 
by Nikolay, then an officer in the Caucasian expeditionary 
force), we have the following interesting details from the pen of 
M. Biryukov: 

" Nikolay Nikolayevich conceived a project of proceeding to 
the Caucasus, not by the ordinary route via Voronezh and the 
country of the Don Cossacks, but of driving as far as Saratov, 
thence in a boat down the Volga to Astrakhan, and thence by 
posting to the stanitsa. This was done. At Saratov they hired 
a fishing boat, embarked therein their tarantas (travelling carriage), 
and with the help of a pilot and a couple of oarsmen, made the 
voyage now by using sails, now by rowing, now by drifting before 


Madame Zagoskin,^ Ogolin,^ the Yushkovs.^ At Saratov 
a major, some Germans/ water, Saturn, fishermen, more 

the current. After three weeks of thus voyaging they arrived at 
Astrakhan, and Tolstoy, in a letter to T. A. Ergolsky, of May 1851, 
writes : " We are in Astrakhan, and on the point of again de- 
parting, for there still remain 400 versts to be covered. As far as 
Saratov the journey was disagreeable, but thence by a small boat 
to Astrakhan we found it exceedingly poetical and charming, owing 
to the novelty of the places visited and the manner of travelling." 

" At Kazan I have spent a very pleasant week . . . Yesterday 
I wrote Mashenka a long letter wherein I told her of my sojourn at 
Kazan — wherefore I will say nothing about it to you, lest I repeat 
myself. Meanwhile, am delighted with the excursion. It is 
embracing much food for thought, and I am finding the constant 
change of locality agreeable." 

Unfortunately, in spite of all search and inquiry addressed to 
the late Countess M. N. Tolstoy, we did not succeed in finding this 
" long letter " of Tolstoy's to his sister, which, it is said, she handed 
over to one of Tolstoy's biographers, N. G. Molostvov, who is also 
dead. — Ed. 

^ Nikolay Nikolayevich Shuvalov and his wife Olga Vladi- 
mirovna, n&e Molostvov. S. was a student at Kazan in 1848; a 
Siberian landowner (vill, of Aiken), served in the Crimean campaign. 

' Probably Ivan Andreyevich Zybin (1814-1857), who lived and 
died in Moscow. There were other Zybins : Hippolyte Vladimiro- 
vich {ohit. 1902), a landowner of Nizhny-Novgorod; Nikolay 
Nikolayevich, subsequently Lieutenant-General {ob. 1905) ; and 
Theodore Mikhailovich {oh. 1872), 

It is known that one of the Zybins was a good musician, a violon- 
cellist, and that Tolstoy and he together composed a waltz. — Ed. 

1 Catherine Dmitriyevna Zagoskin (i 807-1 885), nie Mertvago, 
was married to Nikolay Nikolayevich Zagoskin; at the time 
mentioned she was directress of the Rodion Institute for Women in 
Kazan. Her friendship with Tolstoy's aunt, Pelageya Ilyinishna 
Yushkov, is known through Biryukov's biography of Tolstoy. 

Tolstoy called her an " original and clever woman." 
Tolstoy again met Mme. Zagoskin at Moscow in the 'seventies. In 
P. D. Boborykin's Memoirs, During Half a Century, it is stated that 
Mme. Zagoskin received at her house all the fashionable society of 
Kazan, and that the type of her salon was almost on a level with 
that of the governor. — Ed. 

2 Alexander Stepanovich Ogolin (1821-1911), a well-known 
lawyer, at that time public prosecutor of the Kazan court ; in 
the 'seventies he was president of the court of honour at Tiflis, 
later a senator. He died in Switzerland, Biryukov speaks of him 
as follows {videTolstoy'' sLife, vol. i., p. 171) : " At the house of Mme. 
Zagoskin, who always attracted young men who were the most 


comme ilfaut, he met and almost made friends with a young lawyer, 
the public prosecutor, Ogolin, and took a journey with the latter 
into the country to pay a visit to V. I. Yushkov. Ogolin was a new 
type of the of&cial of that period. . . . Tolstoy used to relate how 
struck V, I. Yushkov was — being accustomed to see a public 
prosecutor as a grave, respectable, and hoary personage in uniform 
with a cross and a star on his breast — when he beheld Ogolin, and 
got acquainted with him under very peculiar circumstances. 

" When Ogolin and I had arrived and approached the house, 
opposite which was a group of young birch trees, I suggested to 
Ogolin that, while the servant was announcing our arrival, we 
should compete as to which of us would climb these birch trees the 
best and the highest. When Yushkov came out and saw the public 
prosecutor climbing a tree, he could not recover himself for a long 

Ogolin was afterwards married to Sophie Nikolayevna Zagoskin 
(daughter of E. D. Zagoskin), who has been living at Geneva since 
the death of her husband. 

At a later date the Ogolins are mentioned by Tolstoy in his 
letter to the Kuzminskys (in the spring of 1871 from Yasnaya 
Polyana to Tifiis) in the following words : " Please give my best 
regards to the two Ogolins. I know the wife little (she was young 
then), but my idea of them combines something very pure and 
noble." — Ed. 

3 Vladimir Ivanovich Yushkov {oh. 1869), a landowner of Kazan, 
with his wife Pelageya Ilynishna, n&e Countess Tolstoy, 1 801 -1875, 
Tolstoy's aunt and guardian. Yushkov, a retired Colonel of the 
Hussars, is remembered in Kazan as an educated, witty, and 
good-natured man, and at the same time as a great jester and 
joker ; such he remained till his death. It is said that once, when 
introducing himself to a new administrator who had received an 
appointment at Kazan, he did it in the following way : 

" Count Tolstoy, an empty man, gave his daughter in marriage 
to Yushkov, the beast. — I am this Yushkov — I have the honour 
to introduce myself," he added. . . . He did not get on well with 
his wife and they separated more than once. Pelageya Ilynishna 
is remembered in Kazan as a very kind woman, but not possessed 
of much intellect. She was very devout, and after the death of 
her husband retired to the Optin Convent. After that she lived 
at the Tula Convent and then removed to Yasnaya Polyana for 
good where she died at a great age. 

At that time the Yushkovs lived at Kazan, and Tolstoy and his 
brother N. N. visited them on their long journey to the Caucasus, 
having selected the route from Tula through Moscow and Kazan. 
At their house he and his brothers had formerly spent the greater 
part of their youth and student days — 1 841 -1847. — Ed. 

^ Germans — some colonists in whose life Tolstoy always took 
an interest because of their industry, and the good order of whose 
life formed an attraction for him. — Ed. 

* (The whole of this passage is written roughly, indistinctly, and 
in pencil. — Copyist.) — Ed. 


June s^d. — The Caucasus. Starogladkovskaya Stanitsa} 
Am writing at Starogladkovskaya Stanitsa at lo o'clock 
at night on June yd. How did I get here ? I do not 
know. For what purpose ? That I do not know either. 
I could write much concerning the journey from Astrakhan 
to the Stanitsa, the Cossacks, the cowardice of the Tartars, 
and the Steppe, but the officers and Nikolenka are due 
at Alexeyev's ^ for supper, and I must join them. The 

1 Starogladkovskaya Stanitsa, Terek Province, on the left 
bank of the river Terek. Throughout the copy the word is spelt 
" Starogladovskaya " (also in Biryukov's Life) ; this undoubtedly 
is a mistake. We correct it according to inquiries made on the 
spot and according to Count N. N. Tolstoy's Memoirs, " Shooting in 
the Caucasus." By the way, the author describes in his Memoirs 
the following peculiar features of this locality where Tolstoy spent 
about two years, being fascinated more by shooting in the company 
of his elder brother than by military exploits : " The neighbour- 
hood of Starogladkovskaya is very difficult for a sportsman, the 
forest is too extensive, it extends along the whole bank of the Terek 
and in some places it joins the rushes which extend far into the 
Steppe, so that one may say that the forest represents two huge 
dense islands, only here and there dotted with small open spaces : 
one is above the Stanitsa, the other below. Besides, the forest is 
so dense that when shooting big game one requires at least twenty 
sportsmen." — Ed. 

2 Lieutenant-Colonel, commander of the battery in which N. N. 
Tolstoy and also Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy served. Yanzhul 
gives a brief personal description of Tolstoy's immediate com- 
mander : 

" Nikita Petrovich Alexeyev, Count Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy's 
battery commander, was liked by everyone and respected for his 
kind-heartedness. He had the reputation of being a learned 
artillerist and generally well informed, and was distinguished for 
his extreme piety. He was very fond of attending church, where 
he spent whole hours kneeling and bowing to the ground. To this 
must be added that one of Nikita Petrovich's ears was missing : it 
had once been bitten off by a horse. One of Nikita Petrovich's 
peculiarities was that he could not look on quietly when officers 
drank vodka, especially if they were young men. According to 
one of the customs of that good old time all the officers dined daily 
at the battery commander's. And here Leo Nikolayevich fre- 
quently pretended that he was about to drink vodka, when Nikita 
Petrovich would begin to dissuade him from it in the most serious 
manner and would offer him sweets instead as was his wont. ..." 

Tolstoy himself in a letter to his brother Sergey Nikolayevich 
expressed the following opinion of Alexeyev : " The Lieutenant- 
Colonel, commander of the battery which I have joined, is a very 


Captain I am disposed to like ; but as regards the rest, 
I have a mind to shun them. Maybe they are horrid. . . .^ 
June gth. — ^There are many things that I have been 
wanting to write, but the time . . . was wasted. I must 
make a better use of the day. To-morrow I go hunting, 
then I will make some notes in the big book,^ then go to 
bed. Dine at home. 

kind but vain man. I must confess that I have made use of the 
latter failing and thrown dust in his eyes — I need him. But 
even this I am doing involuntarily and I repent. When one is 
with vain people one becomes vain oneself." 

In another letter to his Aunt Ergolsky he wrote : " Alexeyev, 
his (brother's) commander, is a little man with moustache and 
whiskers and with light hair, almost red, who speaks in a shrill 
voice ; but he is a good Christian. . . ." — Ed. 

1 Dots here in the original copy. It is not known whether the 
copyist failed to decipher the sentence or whether Tolstoy failed 
to finish it. 

In his letter to T. A. Ergolsky, Tolstoy thus describes the new 
conditions of life in which he is placed : "I arrived safe and sound 
but somewhat sad at Starogladovskaya towards the end of May. 
I saw around me the mode of life which Nikolay leads, and have 
made the acquaintance of the of&cers who form the society. This 
mode of life is not as attractive as it seemed to me at first because 
the country itself, which I thought would be very pretty, is not at 
all so. As the Stanitsa is in a hollow there is no pretty view. My 
lodging is bad as is everything that constitutes the comfort of life. 
As regards the officers, as you may yourself imagine, they are all 
uneducated but splendid men : what is most important, they are 
very fond of Nikolenka. . . ." 

While afterwards giving a short description of his battery com- 
mander Alexeyev {vide what was said of him above), Tolstoy 
continues : " Then there is B,, a young officer, a mere child, who 
reminds me of Petrusha. Then there is the old Captain, Bilkovsky 
(?), of the Ural Cossacks, a simple old soldier but noble, brave and 
kind, I confess that many things grated on me at first in this 
society, but I have grown accustomed to it though I have not 
made friends with these men. I have found a happy mode of 
intercourse which contains neither pride nor too much intimacy. 
For the rest, all I had to do in this respect was to follow the example 
of Nikolenka. . . ." 

We have reason to suppose that the name " Bilkovsky " 
mentioned above was not deciphered by him who copied the letter : 
perhaps it should read " Hilkovsky " who is frequently mentioned 
by Tolstoy in the entries that follow, — Ed. 

2 Tolstoy evidently calls his Diary, which he used to copy into 
a thick folio, the " big book." At another place {vide the entry 
for March loth, 1851, above) he calls his Diary the Journal. — Ed. 


June nth, 1851. — The Caucasus. Stary Yurt} 

The camp. Night time. I have been here for five 
days, and already am repossessed with the indolence 
which seemed to have become a thing of the past. Also 
I have quite neglected this diary, in that the scenery 
from which I had expected so much while planning my 
journey to the Caucasus has failed to present any attrac- 
tive feature. And the sloth which I had expected 
to develop here in full measure is not manifesting 

The night is clear, and a fresh breeze is blowing through 
the tent curtains, and causing the lighted candle to flicker. 
Nothing is audible save the distant baying of dogs in the 
village, and the challenging of sentries. In the air is the 
scent of the oak and plane leaves of which the tent curtain 
is made, and I am seated on a drum in a tent, to either 
side of which is a wing — the one, the wing in which K, . . . 
(a disagreeable officer) is sleeping, closed, and the other one 
open, yet in total darkness save that a streak of light is 
falling upon the end of my brother's bed. In front of me 
is the brilliantly lighted side of the tent, with, suspended 
on it, pistols, Circassian sabres, a poniard, and . . . 
[undecipherable]. Everything is stillj Only can there 
be heard the soughing of the wind, the sound of a small 
beetle buzzing to and fro, and of a soldier coughing or 
heaving a sigh in the neighbourhood. 

I have no desire to sleep, and for writing lack ink. 
Until to-morrow, then, when, according to the impressions 
of the day, I will compose a few letters. I will do so from 
5 o'clock to 8, while from 8 to 10 I will bathe and do 
some sketching ; from 10 to 12, read ; from 12 to 4, rest; 
from 4 to 8, do some English translation ; from 8 to night- 
fall, write. Also I will continue my gymnastics, and 

1 A settlement of Chechenians in the Terek province, Grozny 
district, founded in 1705 (about 4000 inhabitants). — Ed. 

In a letter to his aunt, T. A. Ergolsky, Tolstoy writes on July 
5, 185 1 : " Nikolenka (brother) has received orders to set olf to 
the Staroyurtovsky fortress to guard the sick at the Goryache- 
vodsk camp." . . . — Ed. 


write up both my book of accounts and the FrankUn 

June nth} — I arose late — awakened by Nikolinka, 
returning from hunting. I keep seeking a certain frame 
of mind, a view of things, a mode of Hfe, which I cannot 
either discover or define. Oh for more method in my 
intellectual activity, more of that activity itself, and^ withal, 
more freedom, less constraint ! 

Last night I hardly slept at all ; having posted the 
Diary, I began to pray to God. The blissful feeling which 
came over me during that prayer I could never possibly 
express ! First I recited my usual petitions — the " Our 
Father," the prayers to the Mother of God and to the 
Trinity, the " Door of Mercy," the " Invocation of the 
Angel of Deliverance." Then I went on praying otherwise. 
Yet, if prayer be defined as a petition or a thanksgiving, 
I was not praying. Rather, I was yearning for something 
both lofty and good. What that something was I cannot 
explain, though I was fully conscious of the thing that I 
desired. What I desired was to become fused with the 
All-Embracing Substance as I besought It to pardon me 
for my sins. Yet no ; this is not what I besought, for 
I felt that, since the It had vouchsafed me that blessed 
moment, It had, ipso facto, already granted me pardon. 
True, petition did I offer, but all the while I realized that 
I had nothing to ask for, and that I could not, I did not, 
know how to beseech. And though I thanked the It, I 
did so not in words, nor even in thought, but combined 
everything — petition and gratitude ahke — into a single 
sensation. And the sense of awe had disappeared com- 
pletely. At the same time the feelings neither of Faith 
nor Hope nor Love could have been separated from my 
general feeling. Yes, that was the emotion which I ex- 
perienced last night. It was love for God, but love lofty, 
and combining all that is good, and renouncing what 

^ The Franklin book, i.e. the Journal of Failings {vide entry for 
March 8, 1851, and footnote on p. 61). — Ed. 
8 Second entry under the same date. — Ed. 


is bad. Horrible indeed did I then find it to look upon 
the petty, vicious side of Hfe ! Nor could I conceive how 
it could ever have attracted me as with a clean heart I 
prayed God to receive me into His bosom. Wholly un- 
conscious of the flesh I was, I was i . . . Yet stay ! Soon 
the fleshly, the petty side of Hfe had got me in its posses- 
sion again, and not an hour was past before, half-uncon- 
sciously, I heard the voice of vice, of vanity, of the empty 
aspect of life, calling once more. I knew whence this 
voice came, I knew that it would destroy my state of 
blessedness. I struggled, but succumbed to it. I sank 
to sleep amid dreams of fame and women. Yet it was 
not my fault. I could not help it. 

Lasting blessedness is impossible here, and tribulation 
is necessary. Why so ? I do not know. Yet how 
dare I say that I do not know ? How dare I think 
that the ways of Providence are knowledgeable at all ? 
Providence is reason's source, and reason seeks ever 
to grasp Providence. 

In depths of transcendent wisdom of this sort the in- 
tellect becomes lost, and feeling shrinks from giving the 
It a cause of offence. Hence I can only thank the It for 
the blessed moment which has shown me both my in- 
significance and my greatness. I wish to pray, yet do not 
know how ; I wish to grasp it, yet I dare not venture — I 
surrender myself to Thy will. 

Why have I written the foregoing ? Poorly, feebly, 
senselessly indeed does it express my feelings ! And they 
were so lofty ! 

This morning I spent fairly well, though feeling sHghtly 
indolent, and telling a He of an innocuous sort. To- 
morrow I will write a letter to Madame Zagoskin — or, at 
all events, a draft of one, sketched carelessly. Last night 
I admired some clouds. The clouds were glorious at sun- 
set. The west was red, and the sun a sazhen's 2 length 

1 Here the following words have been crossed out : " How I 
perceived that the spirit alone. . . ."(Copyist). — Ed. 

2 The Russian fathom = 7 English feet. — Trans. 


from the horizon, while over him were coiled massive, 
lurid-grey clouds which, seemingly, found it hard to coalesce. 
For a moment I turned to speak to some one. Then 
I looked up again. Along the horizon was stretched 
a red-grey streak, shaded off into a number of infinitely 
varied figures ; some of them leaning towards others, 
and the rest ending in wisps of brilliant scarlet. 

Man was created for soHtude, but for solitude not so 
much in the actual sense as in the moral. There are 
certain sentiments which should be confided to no one. 
Even if those sentiments be beautiful and elevdted, one 
falls in the opinion of him to whom one confides them, and 
the same if one gives any person the power to divine them. 
When a man confides them he is not fully conscious of them, 
and is expressing but his aspirations. The unknown 
attracts more than does anything else. 

My brother and I are now among men who force us to 
recognize our joint superiority. Yet we say little to one 
another, as though we feared, by saying anything, to allow 
to be divined something which we should otherwise prefer 
to conceal from every one. We know each other too well 
for that. Three things here have struck me greatly. The 
first is the officers' discussions on bravery. As soon as 
they begin to speak of whether anyone is brave they say : 
" Fairly so. All are brave." Conceptions of bravery of this 
sort can be explained thus. Bravery is a spiritual con 
dition which causes the spiritual forces to act in identical 
fashion under all circumstances, or an intensification of 
activity which deprives one of the consciousness of danger. 
Or there are two sorts of bravery — the moral and the 
physical. The moral is that which comes of conscious- 
ness of duty — in general, of moral tendencies rather than 
of consciousness of danger ; the physical sort is that 
which comes of physical necessity, but not so as to take 
away all consciousness of danger, or that which does 
take away that consciousness. Examples may be seen 
in I. the voluntary sacrifice of a man for the safety of his 
country or of another person ; 2. the service of an ofiicer 


for gain ; and 3. in the Turkish campaign, the fact of Russian 
soldiers surrendering to the enemy to obtain water. 
These are merely examples of one aspect of physical 
bravery, and therefore all men are brave. 

June i^th. — I am still indolent, yet satisfied with myself 
save in the matter of voluptuousness. Several times 
when the officers have been talking of cards I have wanted 
to show them that I too could play ; yet always I have 
refrained. I hope that, even if they should begin to im- 
portune me, I shall decline. 

July $rd. — I wrote the above on June 13th, and have 
wholly wasted the subsequent interval for the reason that 
on the same day I was so carried away that I lost at cards 
200 roubles of my own money, 150 of Nikolinka's, and 
got into debt for 500 — total 850. However, I am keeping 
myself in hand, and living prudently, except that I have 
ridden over to Chervlenaya, and got drunk there. [[3]1. 
This is bad, and troubling me very much. Indeed, never 
have I spent more than two months well, or in such fashion 
that I could rest self-satisfied. [15]]. 

Recently I took part in a raid.^ I did not act well : 1 
acted without deliberation, and was afraid of Baryatinsky.^ 

1 While staying in the Caucasus with his brother Nikolay 
Nikolayevich, and before he had donned mihtary uniform, Tolstoy 
volunteered to take part in some raids by Russian detachments 
against mountain villages. We read in V, P. Fedorov's article 
concerning this : 

" His action in skirmishes with the enemy attracted the atten- 
tion of Prince Baryatinsky, commander-in-chief, who praised him 
for his cheerful and courageous bearing under fire in face of mortal 
danger, and advised him to hand in his petition re entering the 
service as soon as possible. . . ." 

About the same incursion Yanzhul says in his book : "In the 
summer of 1851 the troops of the left wing were again assembled 
under the command of Major-General Prince Baryatinsky. The 
artillery park of the detachment comprised, inter alia, four guns of 
the battery brigade No. 4, under the command of Captain Hilkovsky, 
of Lieutenant Count (N. N.) Tolstoy, Lieutenant Sulimovsky, and 
others. . . ." Further it is stated that " Essential results of the 
movement were achieved on June 27 and 28." 

Evidently it is this incursion which Tolstoy mentions in his 
Diary on his return to the Stanitsa. — Ed. 

2 Prince Alexander Ivanovich Baryatinsky (1814-1879), in 1852 


I am so weak, so vicious, however, and have done in my Ufe 
so little that is sensible, that I perforce yield to the in- 
fluence of every B. . . . To-morrow I will work at the 
novel, translate it, and tell Knoringi that, if he will 
wait, I will try to obtain the money. On Wednesday I 
go to Groznoye.2 

was commander of the left flank of the army of the Caucasus. In 
1854 he was called to the Turkish front ; he returned in 1856, having 
been appointed Viceroy of the Caucasus ; after the capture of 
Shamil he was created General-field-marshal. Much information 
is given concerning him, i.e. his military exploits, in the pages of 
Yanzhul's book, Eighty Years . . . of the 2.0th Artillery Brigade. 

Tolstoy writes as follows to his brother S. N. concerning his 
acquaintance with Prince B. : "I made his acquaintance during 
a raid under his command in which I took part, and afterwards 
spent a day with him in a fortress, together with Ilya Tolstoy 
[probably Ilya Andreyevich (181 3-1 879), afterwards a senator, 
Tolstoy's uncle once removed. — Ed.], whom I met here. Un- 
doubtedly I am gaining little amusement from the acquaintance, 
for you will understand the footing on which a subaltern stands 
towards his general." Tiflis, Dec. 23rd, 1851. — Ed. 

1 Knoring. In Yanzhul's book, Eighty Years . . . of the 20th 
Artillery Brigade, in the list of officers stands the name Knoring, 
F. G., second-lieutenant in command of a platoon of the light 
battery. No. 5. 

In the pages of this book one frequently comes across this name 
as that of an officer who had taken part in many battles in the 
course of several years. He was made a second-captain in 1858. 
Yet in Tolstoy's Diary there stands the entry for Jan. 10, 1854 : 
" I have learnt that Knoring has been killed," and further on, 
Jan. 16, the death of Knoring is mentioned. But in Yanzhul's 
book no Knoring is included in the list of officers killed. From 
this we draw the inference that Tolstoy writes about another 
Knoring whose identity we have not been able to establish. 
According to Yanzhul's book, which quotes the reminiscences of 
Fedorov, another military writer, it is known that the military 
archive of the 20th Artillery brigade for 1853 was lost and, there- 
fore, the information for this year concerning the " actions " of 
this brigade is very incomplete. 

In his letter to "auntie," T. A. Ergolsky, Jan. 5, 1852, L. N. speaks 
of his " promissory notes in Knoring's possession." This shows 
that Tolstoy was evidently in Knoring's debt in consequence of 
losses at cards. . . . Later, in the entry for July 4, Tolstoy gives 
a detailed description of Knoring. — Ed. 

* Groznoye, or Groznaya, a fortress, was built in 181 8, by order 
of Ermolov, for fighting the Chechenians. It is situated on both 
banks of the river Sunzha, a tributary of the Terek. In 1870 it 
was renamed Grozny, and raised to the status of a district town 
in the Terek province. — Ed, 


At Trishatny's ^ I showed lack of fearlessness. Nor did 
I send to the right-abont certain persons who were in my 
way. I showed shjoiess in Campiani's presence. I looked 
at myself in the mirror. I felt uneasy. The doctor and 
Kazi-Girey arrived.^ 

I have been lying down outside the camp. It is 
a marvellous night ! The moon is just rising above a 
low hillock, and shedding its light on two small, thin, 
ethereal clouds. Behind me a grasshopper is chirping 
its endless, melancholy song. In the distance there can be 
heard a frog. From the vicinity of the village comes the 
shouting of Tartars, and, anon, the baying of a dog. Then 
aU is still again — there sounds only the chirrup of the 
grasshopper as a light, transparent cloud drifts past 
near and distant stars. To myself I thought : I will go 
forth and describe whatsoever I may see ; but how shaU I 
describe it ? I should need to seat myself at an ink-stained 
table and to take ink and rough paper, and to smear my 
fingers, and to cover the paper with letters. Letters 
make words, and words phrases, but how can one transmit 
feeling ? Is not there some way of transmuting one's out- 
look into the outlook of another while one contemplates 

^ Constantine Trishatny, an ex-of&cer of the Guards. — Ed. 

2 Kazi-Girey, a Kumyk Khan. Count N. N. Tolstoy in his 
Memoirs gives the following description of " Girey-Khan," evi- 
dently the same person concerning whom L. N. Tolstoy has an 
entry in his Diary : " The best shot of any Asiatics I have known 
was Kazi-Girey, a Kumyk Khan, a little withered old man who, 
spare, ill-favoured, slightly pock-marked, and minus one eye, held 
the medal for valour, always went about in rags and tatters, and, 
though of cheerful and even smiling visage, and of a slightly jeering 
disposition, as a rule did not say much. One of his possessions 
was an old Crimean musket of simple make, which he also used for 
hunting. Even more than his solitary eye did he prize this weapon. 
On foot he carried it in a case on his back ; mounted, he carried it 
in his hand ; never would he agree to place it in the baggage waggon. 
In addition to cleaning the musket after every shot, he never 
omitted, after a day's sport, to verify it with a line, and to correct 
it. This constituted his favourite occupation. . . ." In the 
same memoirs, elsewhere, what the author relates about his first 
acquaintance with Girey-Khan seems to contradict the description 
given above : " He v/as a very good-looking old man." It is possible 
that this is a misprint, and that it should read " very ugly." — Ed. 


nature ? Description will not suffice. Why is poetry so 
closely allied with prose, happiness with unhappiness ? 
And how ought one to live ? Ought one to strive to com- 
bine poetry with prose, or to delight oneself with the one 
and then surrender oneself to life under the influence of 
the other ? 

In fancy there is a side that is better than reahty. In 
reahty there is a side that is better than fancy. And in 
union between the two should lie complete happiness. 

July 4th. — I am nearly satisfied with myself, save that 
of late I seem to be void — I have in me not a single 
thought. At all events, if there be in me thoughts, they 
seem so insignificant that I feel no desire to describe 
them. Why this is so I know not. Either I have pro- 
gressed in the critical aspect or I have declined in the 
creative. To-morrow I shall go to the village, and to 
Groznoye. I shall discuss with my brother the question 
of money, and decide about the expedition to Daghestan. 
I can do no writing at all, even though characters 
are to hand which are worthy of description. How use- 
lessly the days pass ! Take to-day : during it there has 
occurred not a single recollection, nor a single impression 
of any force ! I rose late — on awakening I was 
conscious of the unpleasant feehng which never fails to 
move me, that I have acted badly, overslept myself. 
And when I oversleep myself I experience what is felt by 
a craven dog in the presence of its master when it has 
committed a fault. Also, I fell to wondering why man's 
moral forces are so strong on awakening, and why I 
cannot retain mine always in that condition. Always 
shall I assert that consciousness is the greatest moral 
evil that can befall man. Greatly, greatly indeed, does 
it hurt me to know that an hour hence I shall be the same 
as at present, a person with the same images in his mind 
as now, while my outlook will have changed independently 
of myself, albeit consciously. I have been reading 
Hor ... 1 My brother spoke truth when he said that 

^ Hor ,.,(?) The meaning of this word, which stands in the 


this personality resembles myself, having for its principal 
traits magnanimity, mental elevation, lo^^e of reputation, 
and complete inability to engage in toil. Such inability 
is due to the want of habitude in that direction which 
comes of education and vanity. To-day Dzhedzhanov 
invited me to visit his place, where there are some women, 
but I decUned the offer, and departed without desire or 
abhorrence — in short, without the least feeling of any 
kind. All this satisfies me. Then I went for a walk, 
and visited Pyatkin. [[36]|. 

As usual we dined a party of three ; my brother, Knoring, 
and myself. Knoring I will try to sketch. It seems that, 
properly speaking, it is impossible to describe a man, though 
one can describe how he has affected one. To say of a man 
that he is original or good or wise or stupid or consistent 
and so on — these words give one no idea of the man, yet 
purport to sketch his personality, and merely mislead one. 

I knew that my brother had lived with Knoring at some 
place, had come with him to the Caucasus, and that the 
pair were friends. I knew that, en route, Knoring had kept 
an account of the joint expenses, and that, consequently, he 
must be a man of business ; also, that he was in debt to 
my brother, and therefore likely to be a man lacking in 
solidity. Likewise, the fact that he was friendly with 
my brother had led me to conclude that he was not a man 
of society ; while the fact that my brother had never 
said much about him had led me to conclude that he was 
not a man greatly distinguished for intellect. 

One morning my brother said to me : " To-day Knoring 
is to arrive. How I shall rejoice to see him ! " " Well," 
thought I, "let us see this Knoring." From behind the 
tent I heard the joyous notes of my brother greeting 
someone, and a voice answering with an equally joyous, 
" How do you do, Morda ? " ^ I reflected : "He must 

copy at the Editor's disposal, is not clear. It may be a French 
word or a Russian word misspelt. Or it may be a title, " In the 
Night," but probably it is a proper name, judging by the words 
that follow. — Ed. 

1 " Snout," " Mug." or " Phiz."— Tyaws. 


be a rough-and-ready sort of fellow, a man who does not 
know what is what, for, surely, no sort of relations could 
impart charm to such a nickname ! " 

As usual, my brother introduced me, but I, being un- 
favourably disposed towards Knoring, bowed coldly, and 
went on reading where I lay. 

Knoring was a man tall and well-built, but devoid of all 
attractiveness. In build I can discern expression, as in 
features, if not more so, for people can be put together 
agreeably or disagreeably. A broad face, prominent 
cheekbones — the whole resembUng what in horses is known 
as '* hammer head " ; hazel eyes, large, and capable only of 
two phases — of laughter or of their ordinary pose. During 
laughter they are fixed in a stare of vacant fatuity ; the 
remainder of his face in accordance with his passport. 
I noticed that in my presence he remained subdued, and, 
when the first moments of greeting were ended, and, amid 
pauses, there had been repeated, many times over, the 
question, " How are you ? " with the response, " As you 
see," and Knoring turned to me with the inquiry, " Are you 
here for long, Count ? " again I answered coldly. I have 
the gift of recognizing people who love to influence others. 
It is because I have such an addiction myself. Knoring 
was such a person. At all events he exerts an external 
influence upon my brother. For example, he summons 
him to his side. I should like to know whether a man 
can consciously strive to acquire influence over others. To 
me it seems as impossible as it seems to me to play music 
a livre ouvert} However, I have tried this. Why, then, 
should not people who are consistent succeed in attaining 
this by means of method ? Such people have an arriere 
pensee in ever3rthing they do. How many thoughts may 
not be cherished at one and the same time — especially in 
an empty head ? 

1 At sisfht. — Trans. 


1851 to 1853 1 


(i) L' imagination est le miroir de la nature, miroir que 
nous portons en nous, et dans lequel elle se peint. La plus 
belle imagination est le miroir le plus claire et le plus vrai, 
celui que nous appelons le genie. Le genie ne cree pas, 
il retrace. 

II y a des hommes qui ont le sentiment du bon, du beau, 
et du noble, mais qui ne le sont pas.^ 

1 This is the title given to the version of the folio at the Editor's 
disposal, and the same title has probably been given to the new 
large folio of the Diary (4th in number counting from the be- 
ginning of the Diary) which Tolstoy began in the form of 
" Notes." At first he did not date them, but subsequently, in the 
course of two and a half years (starting from June 2nd), he posted 
his Diary in the folio called the " big book " {vide entry for June 9, 
1 85 1, entered in the preceding folio of this Diary). It is not known 
when or where these notes were begun ; possibly at Yasnaya 
Poly ana, for the entry {vide -p. loi) referring to his " uncles and 
aunts" bears testimony to this. But the first entry of this folio, 
which bears the date " June 2nd," was posted after Tolstoy's 
return from the Caucasus, as can be seen from his letter to Mme. 
T. A. Ergolsky, for he writes : "I arrived at Starogladovskaya 
safe and sound, but a trifle sad, towards the end of May . . ." 
The " sad " frame of mind, as shown by the entry and the mention 
he makes at the end of the " saddle ordered " and the " Circassian 
costume " confirms the assumption that this entry was posted on 
the spot, i.e. at Starogladkovskaya Stanitsa. . . . But, simultane- 
ously with the first dated entries in the large folio, Tolstoy 
continues also to post entries daily in the preceding folios of the 
Diary, noting down Starogladkovskaya Stanitsa for the fijst time 
on June 3rd {vide p. 80). And thus, during the month of June, he 
now and then, but not systematically, posts parallel entries in both 
folios ; and later, having completed the old folio {i.e. No. 3) on 
July 4th, he continues to post entries in the " big book " only, 
commencing on July 8th. — Ed. 

2 " Imagination is the mirror of nature ; a mirror which we 
carry within ourselves, and in which nature is portrayed. The 



There are people who, though quick to apprehend 
anything reasonable, and to conceive keen sympathy 
with anything refined, and to feel anything virtuous, are, 
in life, in application, neither clever nor refined nor good. 
The reason is what ? Either that in these people there 
exist the two faculties of receptiveness and reproduction, 
or that they lack the faculty which men call genius or talent, 
or, finally, that natures of excessive purity are always 
weak and apathetic, and fail to have their faculties 

(2) Je n'etais pas assez gai pour avoir un ami ; j'etais 
trop isol6 pour avoir une amie.^ 

This pen is fairly good, 

(3) Chez certains hommes, Taveu public de la peine 
qu'on a commise avec eux augment e T amour jusqu'a ce 
qu'ils en fassent une arme de cet aveu contre la femme 
qui Ta fait. Ce sont les notions basses.^ 

Dernidrement, en parlant avec un de mes amis qui se 
plaignait de sa position, et qui lui attribuait toutes les 
bevues qu'il avait faites, je disais que ni la richesse, ni le 
nom, ni r61egance ne pouvaient donner a un homme 
I'aplomb qui 6tait la cause de ces b6vues, s'il lui manquait.^ 

C'est une chose que je ne puis vous prouver, me dit-il, 
mais que je connais par une triste experience. Le jour 

finest imagination is the clearest and truest mirror, the mirror 
which we call genius. Genius does not create : it reflects." 

" There are persons who can feel what is good and beautiful 
and elevated, but cannot actually be what they feel." 

A translation of a French quotation taken from an unknown 
source. — Ed. 

^ " I was not gay enough to have a man for my friend ; I was 
too lonely to have for friend a woman." 

The source of this quotation is not known. 

2 " With certain men, public confession of an offence which has 
been committed in their company increases love until they fashion 
of the confession a weapon against the woman who has made it. 
This is a base idea." 

2 " Lately, when conversing with a friend who was complaining 
of his position, and attributing thereto every blunder which he 
had made, I said that neither riches nor fame nor refinement could 
dower a man with the aplomb the absence of which had been the 
cause of all the blunders mentioned." 


que j'ai une chemise je suis tout autre que quand j'ai un 
faux col, et, comme le heros d'un roman d' Eugene Sue qui 
partage ses jours en jours de pluie et de beau temps, je 
partage mes jours en jours de chemise et de faux 

That natures of opulence are indolent, and undergo 
little development, we can see, in the first place, for 
ourselves. And, secondly, it is clear that incomplete 
natures strive to pierce the gloom which conceals from 
them many questions, and attain improvement, and 
acquire the habit of toil. Moreover, the labour prevent- 
ing an opulent nature from achieving advancement is far 
greater than, is out of all proportion with, the labour 
to be accompHshed by a nature [...?] in perfecting 
itself towards its further development. 

Lamartine says that writers neglect the composition 
of popular literature ; that the greatest number of readers 
is to be found among the masses ; and that writers write 
only for the circle in which they themselves move, despite 
the fact that the masses, which comprise persons 
hungering for enlightenment, have no literature of their 
own, and never will have until writers shall begin to write 
also for the people. This does not refer to books written 
with the aim of finding many readers : such works are not 
compositions, but mere products of the literary cult. What 
is meant is educational and erudite works which do not 
come within the province of poetry. 

(Where the boundary between prose and poetry lies 
I shall never be able to understand. The question is 
raised in manuals of style, yet the answer to it lies beyond 
me. Poetry is verse : prose is not verse. Or else poetry 

^ " Said he : ' It is a thing which I cannot prove to you, but of 
which I have knowledge by sad experience. On days when I am 
wearing a shirt, I am a different person from on days when I am 
wearing a dickey. Hence, Hke the hero of one of Eugene Sue's 
novels who divided his days into days of rain and days of sunshine, 
I divide my days into days of shirt and days of dickey.' " 

(Probably this is not a quotation, but an entry by Tolstoy himself, 
in French, the language in which the conversation adduced was 
carried on with his friend.) — Ed. 


is everything with the exception of business documents 
and school books.) To be good, Uterary compositions 
must always be, as Gogol said of his Farewell Tale} 
*' sung from my soul," sung from the soul of the author. 
But how could anything likely to be accessible to the people 
be " sung from the soul " of authors who, for the most 
part, stand on a higher level of evolution ? They would 
never be understood of the people. And even if an author 
were to attempt to descend to the popular level, the people 
would fail to understand him. Yes, even as, when a boy 
of sixteen reads a scene in a novel, Tre . . . [undecipher- 
able] in which an act of violence occurs, this does not 
arouse in him any feeling of indignation, and, so far from 
placing himself in the position of the wronged woman, 
involuntarily transfers himself to the role of the seducer, 
and hugs himself with a feeling of voluptuousness, so 
the common people would understand something wholly 
different from anything that you might wish to say to 

1 Of this Farewell Tale Gogol (1821-1852) wrote as follows, 
among other things, in his " Testament " : " My countrymen, I have 
loved you — cloved you with the love which transcends expression, 
which God gave me, and for which I thank Him as for a blessing 
which has been my joy and comfort during the worst of my 
sufferings. In the name of that love I beseech you to listen with 
your hearts to my farewell tale. It is a tale, I swear, that I 
have neither invented nor composed. Of itself it has come 
singing from the soul which God has tried with so many sorrows 
and tribulations — ^its notes have their origin in the secret forces 
of that Russian nature which all of us share, and through which 
I am the kinsman of you all." 

Unfortunately, the Farewell Tale was never published, and in 
an addendum to the "Testament" Gogol remarked briefly : " My 
farewell tale will never see the light, in that what might have been 
of some significance after my death is without meaning during my 
life-time." Probably the author burnt the manuscript together 
with that of the second portion of Dead Souls. 

All his life Tolstoy greatly valued Gogol not only as a true artist 
but also as a deeply religious man. Contrary to the established 
opinion of contemporary criticism, he put on a high plane the religio- 
moral views Gogol expressed in his Correspondence with Friends 
(published in 1846). In the 'eighties of the last century Tolstoy 
edited a small booklet, Gogol as a Teacher of Life, written by 
A. Orlov, and issued by the " Posrednik " Publishing House. — Ed. 


Would the people understand Anton-Goremyka'^ or 
Genevieve ^ ? The words might be intelligible, as expres- 
sions of thought, but not the thoughts themselves. The 
common people have a literature of their own, a literature 
fair and inimitable ; but it is not an imitation, it " sings 
itself " from the very heart of the people. There is no 
need of the higher literature — the latter does not exist. 
Should you attempt to place yourself on a level with 
the people, the people would despise you. 

However, let our superior circles press forward, and 

^ Anton-Goremyka. Dmitry Vasilyevich Grigorovich, a well- 
known Russian writer {1822-1899), is the author of this novel. 
Wh&n Anton-Goremyka ^.■^■pQBxe^. in 1846 it made a great impression 
upon Russian society of that day, for the novel contained a sharp 
protest against serfdom. On the occasion of D. V. Grigorovich s 
fifty years' jubilee in 1895 Tolstoy wrote to him concerning the 
impression made on him hy Anton-Goremyka. It was a "joyous 
revelation" to him in his youth "that the Russian peasant could, 
and should, be described not with the idea of ridicuhng him nor of 
giving life to the landscape, but that he can, and must, be described 
in his full stature, not only lovingly, but even with respect and 
trepidation." . . . 

Tolstoy valued such works as Anton-Goremyka to the end of his 
life ; but at the latter end of his life he considerably changed, or 
rather enlarged, his view concerning the cycle of reading for the 
common people and, of course, ceased to include such works as 
that mentioned above in the category of literature unsuited to 
the people. On the contrary, he included this and other novels 
by Grigorovich with those recommended not only to the intellectual 
reader but also to readers amongst the common people. — Ed. 

2 As we have not been able to decide of which GenevUve Tolstoy 
speaks here, we quote the works bearing this title which were 
known at the time : (i) Genevidve de Brabant, drame romantique de 
Tieck (1799). (2) The Story of GenevUve of Brabant, the spouse of 
Siegfried, Count of the Palatinate (in the seventh century) . {3) V inno- 
cence reconnue (Innocence Recognized), a book concerning this 
Genevieve, was written by Father C6risier (published in 1638) ; it 
was a widely circulated work of European literature of past cen- 
turies. Tolstoy could scarcely have had in mind this book which 
had such a large circulation first among the masses in Western 
Europe and later here in Russia. It is more likely to have been 
one of the following books : Genevidve, roman publi6 en 1839, par 
M. Alphonse Karr, or Genevieve, histoire d'une servante, par Alphonse 
de Lamartine, en 1851 (vide La-Rousse, Gr. dictionnaire fran^ais). 
It is more likely to suppose it to have been the last named Genevieve, 
Lamartine's History of a Servant, which Tolstoy considered ill- 
suited to the common people. — Ed. 


the common people will not lag behind. True, the 
people will not fuse with those superior circles, but at 
least they will advance. 

^(4) Pourquoi dire des subtilit^s quand il y a encore tant 
de grosses verites a dire ? ^ 

Men have sought the philosopher's stone, and thereby 
discovered many chemical combinations. Let them seek 
also virtue from the standpoint of Socialism, i.e. of absence 
of vice, and they will discover many a moral verity of use. 

(5) Paul et Virginie.^ Leur affection mutuelle occupait 
toute I'activite de leurs ames. Jamais des sciences inutiles 
n'avaient fait couler leurs larmes ; jamais les legons d'une 
triste morale ne les avaient remplis d' ennui. ^ 

C'est tenter la Providence que de tacher d'am^liorer la 
nature de I'homme ; chaque loi qui promet une punition 
fait naitre un mal aussi grand que le mal qui existait. 
Dieu a fait I'homme beau et bon ; il est impossible de le 
rendre meilleur. Evitez le mal, les occasions de le faire, 
et, surtout, de faire voir la possibilite de le faire.* 

^ " Why speak of subtleties when there remain so many gross 
truths to be discovered ? " 

The source of the quotation is unknown, — Ed. 

2 Paul et Virginie, novel by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (1737-1814), 
written in 1787, It is an idyll of the pure love of two beings un- 
touched by civilization, and runs its course in the bosom of nature 
in the tropical climate of America. It produced a very strong 
impression on the people of the day. The same author also wrote 
Le cafe du Surate {" The Coffee House of Surat "), which Tolstoy 
liked and translated ; owing to the conditions of censorship existing 
in the 'nineties of the last century the tale was somewhat curtailed. 
We have verified and translated quotations from Paul et Virginie 
given below from an old edition of this book (Alphonse Lemerre, 
Paris, 1848). — Ed, 

3 " Their mutual affection engrossed their souls' activity. Never 
did useless learning cause their tears to flow ; never did the lessons 
of a stern morality fill them with weariness " {Paul et Virginie, 
p. 30),— Ed, 

^ " To attempt to improve man's nature is to tempt Providence. 
Every law which threatens a penalty gives rise to an evil as great 
as the evil existent, God made man good and fair, and to render 
him better is impossible. Hence, shun evil, and occasions of doing 
evil, and, above all things, occasions of discovering the possibility 
of doing evil." 

The source of this extract is uncertain. Possibly it represents 


Mais, devenue mere, elle ne craignait plus la honte d'un 
refus. Elle courut au Port Louis sans se savoir, cette 
fois, d'etre mal vetue, la joie maternelle la mettant au 
dessus du respect humain . . . ^ 

How one's view of life changes when one comes to live, 
not for self, but for others ! Life ceases to be an end, 
and becomes a means. Through unhappiness man is 
rendered virtuous ; virtue renders him happy ; happiness 
renders him vicious. 

There are two kinds of happiness : the happiness of 
the virtuous, and the happiness of the vain. Of these, 
the former is due to virtue, and the latter to fate. Virtue 
must strike deep root if the latter happiness is not to 
influence the former ; for happiness founded upon vanity 
is destroyable by the same, and fame by slander, and 
wealth by fraud ; whereas virtue, the basis of happiness, 
can be destroyed by nothing. 

(6) EUes avaient banni de leur conversation la m6disance 
qui, sous une apparence de justice, dispose necessairement 
le coeur k la haine ou k la faussete ; car il est impossible 
de ne pas hair les hommes si on les croit mauvais, et vivre 
avec eux si on ne leur cache sa haine sous des decors de 

Ainsi la m^disance nous oblige k etre mal avec les autres 
ou avec nous-memes.^ 

Enfin je crois la solitude tellement n^cessaire au bonheur 
dans le monde meme qu'il me serait impossible d'y gouter 

a quotation from Bernardin de Saint-Pierre or from Rousseau's 
Emile ; or it may represent Tolstoy's own reflections in connection 
with what he had been reading. — Ed. 

^ " Yet, become a mother, she ceased to fear the shame of a 
refusal, and, this time, betook herself to Port Louis without realizing 
that she was ill-clad, seeing that maternal joy had set her above 
human respect " {Paul et Virginie, pp. 38-39). — Ed. 

2 " They had banished from their conversation the scandal- 
mongering which is bound, under the guise of justice, to incline the 
heart either to hatred or to falsity : for it is impossible not to hate 
persons whom one believes to be bad, or to live with them unless 
one can conceal one's dislike under a veil of benevolence. 

Thus scandal-mongering forces us to be sinful either with our- 
selves or with others " (vide Paul et Virginie, p. 72). — Ed. 


un plaisir durable d'un sentiment, quel qu'il soit, ou de 
regler sa conduite d'apres quelque principe stable, si Ton 
ne se fait une solitude int^rieure d'ou not re opinion sorte 
bien rarement, et 1' opinion d'autruit n'entre jamais.^ 

Pour savoir apprecier le bonheur que donnent le calme 
et la vertu, il faut sou vent envisager le malheur que donnent 
le mouvement et les passions. 

On jouit du bonheur dont jouit un naufrage sur une 
plage deserte. La vie et les livres.^ 

Parmi un grand nombre d'infortunes que j'ai essay e de 
ramener a la nature je n'ai pas trouve un seul qui ne soit 
enivre de ses propres mis^res. lis m'6coutaient d'abord 
avec attention, croyant que je les enseign^rais a acquerir 
de la gloire et de la fortune ; mais, voyant que je ne voulais 
les apprendre moi-meme, qu'a s'en passer, ils me trouvaient 

One should not say that Hfe is a trial, and death a blessing 
which puts away from us all sorrow. To do so is neither 
comfort on the loss of people near and dear to one nor a 
moral exhortation. Indeed, to agree with it is impossible 
save in cases of despair : and despair is a weakening of 
faith, of hope in God. And as a moral exhortation the 

^ " So necessary for happiness in this world do I believe solitude 
to be that, were we not able to fashion for ourselves an inward 
isolation whence our opinions would never issue, and to which the 
opinions of others would never penetrate, we should be unable 
to take any lasting pleasure in any single sentiment, or to regulate 
our conduct by any fixed principle " (vide Paul et Virginie, 
p. 20I.) — Ed. 

2 " To know how to appreciate the happiness conferred by 
virtue and tranquillity one ought often to recall to one's recollec- 
tion the misfortunes caused by passion and movement." 

" Happiness should be enjoyed as by a shipwrecked sailor on 
a desert strand. Life and books " (free rendering of p. 209, Paul 
et Virginie). — Ed. 

3 " Among the many unfortunates whom I have tried to turn 
to nature I have found not one who was not intoxicated with his 
own misery. At first such persons have listened to me with atten- 
tion, in the belief that I was going to teach them to win fame and 
fortune ; but as soon as they have perceived me to have no 
desire myself to learn the art beyond how to do without it, they 
have voted me, like themselves, unhappy ' ' (vide Paul et Virginie, 
p. 204). — Ed. 


idea is too painful for the minds of the young, and may 
shake their beUef in virtue. If a man be bereaved of a 
person whom he has loved, he can yet love another ; and, 
should he not do so, the reason will be that he is too proud. 
Latent in the soul of everyone is the principle of evil. 

(7) L'habit qui sied le plus mal au mendiant, c'est Thabit 
du mendiant, et c'est la cause principale qui en detourne 
I'aumdne. Hay des gens qui ont des petit esses sans avoir 
assez d' esprit pour les voir. II y en a qui en ont, qui les 
voyent, mais qui n'ont pas la force de les avouer. II y en 
a qui les voyent et les avouent ; ceux-la n'y tiennent pas, 
ils s'en jouent. Une petitesse avou^e n'est plus une 
petit esse. ^ 

Quand le dernier des Gracques expira il jeta un peu de 

poussi^re vers le Ciel, et de cette poussidre naquit MariuS, 

Marius moins grand pour avoir extermine les Cimbres que 

pour avoir abattu dans Rome 1' aristocratic de noblesse ^ 

(Mirabeau aux Marseillais). 

Quand la fin finale adviendra 
Tout h rebours opinera. 
Lors celui-la deviendra riche 
Qui plus sera sot, larron, chiche. 
Tant moins aurait on d'honneur, 
Tant plus sera-t-on grand seigneur. 
Sufi&ra d'avoir jeune hure, 
Petite dme, et large serrure. 

^ " The coat which least becomes the beggar is the beggar's coat. 
Also, it is the cause which, above all things, deflects charity. There 
are persons who have littlenesses, but not sufficient wit to perceive 
them. Others have littlenesses, and perceive them, but lack the 
courage to make avowal of the same. And others there are who 
perceive their own littlenesses, and avow them, but decline to cast 
them off — ^rather, they make of them a jest. A littleness confessed 
is a littleness no longer." 

(The source of this quotation is not known to the Editor.) — Ed. 

2 " When the last of the Gracchi was dying, he threw into the 
air a handful of dust, and of that dust there was born Marius — 
Marius less great for having exterminated the Cimbri [ancient 
Teutons] than for having crushed in Rome the aristocracy of 
nobility." (Mirabeau, to the people of Marseilles.) 

The quotation copied by Tolstoy into his Diary has evidently 
been borrowed from Lamartine's historical investigation, The 
Girondins, which Tolstoy was reading at the time. In this book 
is quoted this very fragment from Mirabeau's speech. — Ed. 


Laides guenons, singes batt^s 
Comme patrons seront fest6s. 
Anes seront assis en chaire, 
Et les docteurs debout derri^re,^ 

Elderly uncles and aunts think themselves bound to pay 
with precepts, however futile, for their right to have 
nephews. And such persons actually feel hurt when their 
nephews' behaviour renders advice misplaced — ^they sup- 
pose themselves to have been robbed of their due ! 

Nothing is more painful than to observe the sacrifices 
made for one's benefit by folk with whom one is bound, 
one is constrained, to live — especially sacrifices which one 
has not asked for, and from persons whom one does not 
love. Self-sacrifice is a very ordinary form of egotism. 

(8) Adrian Duport^ discuta sur la peine de mort, et 
prononga en faveur de son abolition. II d^montra avec 
la plus profonde logique que la societe, en se reservant 
rhommicide, le justifiait jusqu'a un certain point chez le 
meurtrier, et que le moyen le plus efiicace de dishonorer 
le meurtre, et de le pr^venir, 6tait d'en montrer elle-meme 
une sainte horreur.^ 

1 " When the final end shall come 
Everything will be reversed. 
He will then most wealthy be 
Who is foolish, mean, a thief. 
They who most shall honour lack 
Will the greatest lords become. 
Then the jejune brain will serve. 
The little soul, the ample purse. 
Filthy strumpets, ragged apes. 
Gentry all, will rule the feast. 
Asses will be set on chairs. 
Scholars standing at their back." 

Translation of a French poem. The punctuation marks (in the 
French text) have been inserted by us according to the sense. The 
Editor does not know whence this poem has been borrowed. — Ed. 

2 Adrien Duport (1759-1798), a well-known member of the 
Constituent Assembly, elected to parliament while still quite a 
young lawyer . . . — Ed. 

^ " In discussing the penalty of death, Adrien Duport pro- 
nounced in favour of its abolition. With the profoundest logic 
he demonstrated that, in reserving to itself homicide, society 


Robespierre, qui devait tout laisser immoler, plus tard 
demandait qu'on desarma la societe de la peine de 

Si les pr6jug6s des jurist es n'eussent pas prevalu sur 
les saines doctrines de la philosophie morale, qui pent 
dire con:abien de sang eut 6te 6pargn6 a la France ? ^ 

Everyone describes the weaknesses of humanity, and 
man's absurd aspects, by transferring them to imaginary 
personalities — sometimes with success, according to the 
talent of the author, or, for the most part, in an unnatural 
way. Why ? Because we know human weaknesses by 
ourselves, and, to describe them truthfully, must express 
them in ourselves, since a given weakness goes only with 
a given personality. Few writers have the capacity to 
do this. They strive so to delineate the personality to 
which they transfer their weaknesses as to avoid recogniz- 
ing themselves. Would it not be better to say outright. 
** This is the kind of man I am. If you do not like me I 
am sorry, but God has made me so " ? The fact is that 
no one will take the first step, lest folk should say : "Do 
you suppose that, because you are bad and absurd, we are* 
the same ? " Hence everyone remains silent, even as 
when everyone fears to be the first to arrive at a provincial 
ball, and therefore arrives late. Let every man show just 
what he is ; and then what has been weak and laughable 
in him will become so no longer. 

Would it not be a great blessing to escape, if even in 
the smallest degree, from the terrible yoke of such fear of 

justified it up to a certain point in respect of the murderer, 
but that the most efl&cacious method of discrediting murder, and 
preventing its occurrence, is for society to evince a holy horror of 
the crime " (Lamartine ?). — Ed. 

^ " Robespierre, who at one time consigned everything to de- 
struction, subsequently demanded that society should be deprived 
of the weapon of the death penalty." 

" If the prejudices of jurists had not triumphed over the sane 
principles of moral philosophy, how much bloodshed would not 
France have been spared ? " 

The Editor was unable to establish the source of the extracts 
(2) and (3) . Possibly they were composed by Tolstoy himself, under 
the influence of his study of Lamartine's Girondins. — Ed. 



ridicule ? How many, many genuine amenities do we 
not lose through this foolish dread ! 

(9) Ne pouvant ni rester sans un passe qui croule ni 
Jeter d'un seul jet I'avenir dans son moule (Lamartine, 

La superiority est une infirmity sociale (Emile 

June 2nd (?) 1851. Starogladkovskaya Stanitsa. — My 
God, my God, what sad and oppressive days are these ! 
And why is one so sad ? No, one is not so much sad as 
pained by the consciousness of being sad without knowing 
the cause. I used to think that this came of inactivity, 
of idleness ; but no, it comes, not of idleness, but of a 
position in which I can do nothing. Above all, such 
despondency as I am experiencing I can find nowhere else 
— neither in descriptions nor even in my imagination. I 
understand that it is possible to grieve in the case of a loss, 
a parting, a cheated hope. I understand how one may suffer 
disenchantment. Everything may begin to pall, and one 
may fall short of one's expectations so often as to have 
nothing left to expect. I understand how, when one's 
-soul is sheltering love for all that is beautiful, for mankind, 
for nature, and yearning to express it all, and to ask for 
sympathy, and encounters naught but coldness and ridi- 
cule and secret rancour against one's neighbour, sadness 
may ensue. I understand the sadness of a man who, when 
his lot is hard, feels oppressed with a heavy, maUgnant 
feeling of envy. I understand it all, and in all such sadness 
there lies, regarded from another standpoint, an element 
of the good. 

1 " Not being either able to renounce his mouldering past or 
at a stroke to throw the future into his mould " (Lamartine's 
Jocelyn or Girondins ?). — Ed. 

^ "Superiority is a social weakness" (Emile Souvestre, a 
French writer, 1806-1857). 

In his dramatic works it is not representatives of the wealthy 
classes who are the bearers of the moral ideas of knowledge, but 
chiefly labouring men who have been unfairly dealt with by fate. 

The Editor is unable to point out from which work Tolstoy is 
quoting. — Ed. 


I feel my sadness, but cannot comprehend it, or envisage 
it. I have nothing to regret, almost nothing to wish for, 
and no reason exists why I should be incensed against fate. 
Above all, I understand that I could live on my imagina- 
tion. But no ; my imagination refuses to draw pictures ; 
all fancy is lacking. Contempt of my fellows — surely I 
might take a gloomy delight in that ? But in this direction 
too I am incapable : I do not devote to my fellows a single 
thought. First I reflect : " Such and such a man has a 
good, simple soul " ; then I reflect : " No ; I had better not 
make experiments. Why should I perpetrate a blunder ? " 
Nor is there any disenchantment : all things still divert 
me. The cause of my sorrow must be that I applied 
myself too early to the serious things of life — I applied 
myself to them before I was yet ripe, but when able to 
feel and understand. The result is that I lack any strong 
faith in friendship, or in love, or in beauty, and, while 
disenchanted as to the important things in life, am yet a 
child in things petty. 

Just now, in conning over the unpleasant moments of 
my life, the only moments which keep recurring to my 
mind during this fit of despondency, I reflected that 
pleasure is too scanty, and desire too great, and man him- 
self too apt to picture happiness, and fate too apt to buffet 
him, and catch him painfully, painfully on the raw, for 
him to live in love with life. Moreover, there is some- 
thing especially gratifying and grand in indifference to 
life: and I enjoy this feeling. How fortified against all 
things I seem so long as I can feel firmly persuaded that I 
have nothing to look for save death ! Yet also I can recall 
with pleasure the fact that I have ordered a saddle to 
carry me in my Circassian costume^ and that I shall run 
after Cossack women, and relapse into despair because 
my left moustache is slimmer ^ than my right, and spend 
a couple of hours in rectifying the matter before a looking- 
glass ! But I cannot write. Judging by this, it is stupid . . . 

(lo) Et puis cette horrible necessite de traduire par des 

^ Or " hangs lower " ; the word is written illegibly. — Ed. 


mots, et aligner en pattes de mouche, des pensees ardentes, 
vives, mobiles comme des rayons de soleil teignant les 
images de I'air. Ou faire le metier ! Grand Dieu ! ^ 
Et quae fuerunt vitia mores sunt (S^neque).^ 
La conversation est un trapeze, et si Ton Tentreprend sans 
fonds, la balance penche, et le commerce tombe (Sterne).^ 
June (?) 4^A, 1851. — I feel quite fresh, quite cheerful, 
mentally and physically. The only thing that I have to 
reproach myself with is want of firmness of character, 
and vanity and carelessness. Man has in him an inborn 
tendency to test fate, happiness — i.e. to refuse to rest 
content with one or more fortunate occurrences, but to 
wish for their repetition ad infinitum. The more fre- 
quently a man is lucky in anything, the more risk he will 
undertake ; whereas he should presume that happiness is 
at last exhausted. 

- (11) L' esprit dictateur qui allait porter ce jurement 
rompt en le deposant, et Fange envoy 6 de tenir les registres 
laissa tomber une larme sur ce mot en Tinscrivant, et 

1 " Ah, this horrible necessity of verbal transmission, of copybook 
inscription, of thoughts as warm and bright and quick as the sun's 
rays when they tint the clouds of heaven ! Or to make a trade of 
it! Great God!" 

(The Editor does not know whether this is a quotation from 
some work, or whether it is one of Tolstoy's own thoughts.) — Ed. 

2 " What were vices are become virtues." (Seneca.) Translation 
of a Latin saying. 

In his young days Tolstoy was greatly interested in Seneca's 
teaching, and evidently was well acquainted with his works. — Ed. 

^ " Conversation is atrapeze. If one embarks upon it without a basis, 
the balance leans, and the thing comes to the ground." (Sterne.) 

Laurence Sterne (171 3-1 768), a well-known humorous writer. 
His works, such as Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy 
(1760), and especially his Sentimental Journey through France and 
Italy (1768), made a great impression upon Tolstoy in his youth ; 
as he himself has said, he imitated Sterne's manner of writing in 
his first work {Childhood). — Ed. 

^ " The imperious spirit which was to take the oath broke it in 
swearing it, and the angel sent to hold the registers dropped upon 
the word a tear, and effaced the entry." 

Unfortunately the Editor was unable to ascertain whence this 
somewhat unintelligible quotation was taken. — Ed. 


July 8th. Stary-Yurt. — Love and religion — these are 
pure and lofty sentiments. Yet of that which men call 
love I am ignorant. If love be what I have read and 
heard of it, I have had of it no experience. Once upon a 
time I used to see a girl student named Zinaida^ who 

1 Mile, Zinaida Modestovna Molostvov was married to Tiele. 
As she undoubtedly left a deep impression on Tolstoy's mind and 
memory the Editor deems it fitting to adduce some biographical 
information concerning her, communicated by her daughter and 
other relatives. Mile. Z. M. Molostvov was born at the family 
estate, " Tri Ozera," on Nov. 24, 1828, where she spent her child- 
hood. Her parents were Modest Porfiryevich Molostvov and 
Barbara Ivanovna, nie Mergasov, Her father had been a 
military man, and on three occasions had been elected for a 
term of three years as the leader of the nobility of the Spassky 
district. Government of Kazan. At the age of sixteen, after 
her father's death Z. M. entered the Rodion Institute at .Kazan. 
Madame E. D. Zagoskin, head of the Institute, was almost 
like a mother to her. Z. M. learnt easily, combining ability with 
love of science and a constant striving after moral perfection. 
Her wit was coupled with a deep intellect and a warm heart. Z. M. 
made Tolstoy's acquaintance at Madame Zagoskin's at Kazan 
while she was still a pupil at the Institute, as he himself says 
(further on). She was a friend of his sister's, who was at the same 
Institute ; according to his sister's testimony " she (Z. M.) was 
liked by the Tolstoys and preferred to others because, apart from 
her great ability, Z. M. was full of life, witty, and possessed of 
a keen sense of humour. . . ." Whenever she met Tolstoy at 
a ball she danced nearly all the mazurkas with him, and was 
obviously interested in him. Tolstoy saw her again when he stopped 
at Kazan on his way to the Caucasus ; she was then twenty-two years 
of age. Soon after that she became engaged to her future husband, 
Nikolay Vasilyevich Tiele. Z. M. married at twenty-three under very 
distressing circumstances : Elizabeth Modestovna (Ogolin's fiancee 
whom Tolstoy mentions further back inhisDia^j/), her favourite sister, 
had just died, and Z. M.'s fianc6 had barely recovered from typhoid, 
after which he was hardly recognizable ; he even lost his memory 
for a time. During her subsequent life Z. M. always strove to do 
good wherever she was able. She was much occupied with orphanages 
and even established one at her country house. She was the 
first president of the " Ladies' Charity Society " at Kazan, and was 
at the same time a careful and tender mother. During the first 
years of her married life she had a serious illness which left her 
delicate, and towards the end of her life she had much trouble to go 
through. Z. M. Molostvov died of a painful disease — aneurism — 
on Feb. 10, 1897, at Kazan. In view of the fact that Tolstoy was 
seriously attracted by Zinaida Modestovna and admitted the 
possibility of marriage, we find it becoming to adduce here more 


pleased me ; but I came to know her only a little (Faugh ! 
how gross is a word ! And how trivial, how stupid do 
sentiments appear on paper !). I stayed a week at Kazan ; 
and if you were to ask me why I did so, or what I found 
there so agreeable, or why I was so happy there, I should 

detail concerning her personality and her relation to Tolstoy. 
A. P. Mertvago {a well-known agronome and writer, a nephew of 
Z. M. M.) writes, inter alia, concerning his visit to Tolstoy at Moscow 
(about ten years before Tolstoy's death), in his Reminiscences as 
follows : 

" Z. M. was a cousin of my mother's and, therefore, from the 
time of the rise of Tolstoy's literary fame I often heard of his 
youthful infatuation for her. 

" In the wide circle of young women of Kazan ' society ' of the 
'forties, Zinaida Modestovna could not fail to attract the attention 
of Lyovushka Tolstoy. 

" She was not a great beauty, but was distinguished for her good 
looks and grace, and she was intelligent and witty. Her observa- 
tions on people were tempered with humour, but at the same time 
she- was naturally kind and tactful ; she was of a dreamy turn of 

" When, two years later, Tolstoy went to the Caucasus, he chose 
the long route through Kazan, and certainly his old uncle (Yushkov) 
was not the cause of his having chosen this route 1 

"His friendship for Ogolin" (of which Biryukov relates in 
Tolstoy's Life), says Mertvago, "is probably explained by the 
fact that at that time he was on intimate terms with the Molostvov 

" On his return from the Caucasus in the autumn Tolstoy wrote 
to A. S. Ogolin in a humorous fashion : 

To Write 
How you all are 
To me in the Caucasus. 
As for Miss Molostvov 
Is she quite well ? . . . 
Leo Tolstoy ! " 

In a letter to T. A. Ergolsky, written from Kazan in 1851, 
Tolstoy let fall the remark : " It is not that I was in a bad frame 
of mind all this time ; I merely did not feel merry. You will 
easily guess the cause. . . ." 

To this period also relates the letter in which Tolstoy dreams 
of family life and describes his future wife in poetical terms : 
" I am thinking of the happiness awaiting me. . . . This is a 


answer that it was not because I was in love, in that know- 
ledge of love is not mine. Yet ignorance of the kind is, 
I think, love's chief feature, its whole charm. How 
morally light-hearted I was during that period ! None 
of this buiden of petty passions which now is spoiling for 

wonderful dream. But this is not all that I allow myself to 
dream of. I am married, I have a kind, quiet, loving wife : 
she loves me as much as I love her, we have children who call 
you ' grandmother.' . . ." When Tolstoy wrote this letter the 
news had not yet reached him that Z. M. had married {vide entry 
for June 22, 1852). " Many years later, when well on in years, 
fascinating as ever and admirable in her ability to live her life and 
console herself with all sorts of illusions, Z. M. recalled how Tolstoy 
had fascinated her. In words which breathed a touching senti- 
ment combined with tender sadness she referred to that bright 
fleeting vision of her young days." (Molostvov : Leo Tolstoy, p. 

We adduce here more extracts from the same article by Mert- 
vago which is probably little known to the reading public of 
to-day : 

" The winter of 1885 was spent by Madame Z. M. Tiele at Moscow, 
Madame E. D. Zagoskin, whom Tolstoy used to visit, was on a visit 
at Moscow (at her daughter's). 

" ' Aunt Zina, why don't you renew your acquaintance with 
Tolstoy ? ' I asked Zinaida Modestovna. 

" 'Why should I ? I know and value him for what he is and 
for what he writes. If he remembers me at all he remembers 
me as I was in my youth, thirty-five years ago. Why, then, 
should I replace this pleasant image with that of a stout, ugly old 
woman. . . .' 

" At the end of 1902 (this is a misprint, it should read 1900 — Ed.), 
I was passing through Moscow, and as the crops had failed this 
winter in the Government of Tula I decided to make an attempt 
to get from Tolstoy an article on the famine for the magazine 

" I entered his room and was struck by the sight of the old 
man seated in his arm-chair. I had not expected to find such a 
change in his outward appearance which had remained in my 
memory during the last twenty years. But I was still more struck 
by his unexpectedly kind, friendly greeting : 

" ' How you resemble your father ! . . . Where does your 
father live now ? At Kazan ? ' 

" ' He died in 1897.' 

" After a short interval Tolstoy said, in a somewhat irresolute 
tone : ' The Molostvovs, I think, were near relations of yours ? ' 

" ' Yes, all uncles and aunts of mine.' 

" ' Where is Zinaida Modestovna now ? ' 

" ' She died three years ago. . . .' 


me all the pleasures of life did I then feel. I spoke not a 
word of love, yet felt assured that she knew my senti- 
ments, and that, if she liked me, I could attribute it to the 
fact that she understood me. Always, originally, are im- 
pulses of the heart pure and elevated. It is actuality that 
destroys their innocence and charm. 

My relations with Zinaida have remained in the stage 
of a pure yearning of two souls for one another. Perhaps 
you doubt that I love you, Zinaida ? If so, pardon me. 
The fault is mine, for I might have reassured you with a 

Shall I never see her again ? Shall I one day learn 
that she is married to a Beketov ? ^ Worse stiU, shall I 
then see her in her little cap, with the same clever, open, 
merry, love-iilled, jolly eyes as of old ? Not yet abandoned 
are my schemes of journeying to marry her ; and though 
I am not convinced that she would constitute for me 
happiness, I am in love. If not, why the pleasant 

" ' Died ? . . .' repeated Tolstoy in a tone of sadness and 
surprise, and asked, after a considerable pause : 

" ' And her husband ? ' 

" ' He died in the 'eighties.* 

" Tolstoy seemed to receive my answer rather indifferently and 
to be musing upon something. 

" ' Was Zinaida Modesto vna happy in her family life ? . . . 
Had she nice children ? . . . And her brother, the man in the 
artillery ? ' asked Tolstoy, trying to recall those of the same age 
who were with him at Kazan. They had all died, and I felt that 
these questions were an old man's mental survey of his generation. 
The subsequent conversation showed me clearly that Tolstoy's 
interest in my visit, hitherto unintelligible to me, was prompted by 
his ' first love ' for Z. M. Molostvov." — Ed. 

^ Alexander Nikolayevich Beketov, landowner of Simbirsk, 
later married to the Princess Gagarin. Mme. E. N. Depreis, 
daughter of Mme. E. D. Zagoskin, communicates to us (through 
A. P. Mertvago) the following recollection of hers : While she 
(Z. M.) was still a young girl, she and her eldest sister had occa- 
sion to observe during Tolstoy's visit at their house how the young 
count sulked, being evidently jealous of Beketov on account of 
Zinaida Modesto vna when Beketov engaged her attention. From 
Tolstoy's letter to E. N. Depreis, dated April 6, 1899, and placed 
at our disposal, it can be seen that Tolstoy had preserved pleasant 
recollections of this family to the end of his life, for he writes : 
" I always recall you and your family with great pleasure," — Ed. 


memories which never fail to revive me ? Why the mien 
with which I gaze whenever I see and become conscious 
of anything beautiful ^ ? Should I not write her a 
letter ? Yet I do not know even her patronymic ; 
whence, perhaps, I shall lose happiness. And, absurd 
though it seems, I forgot to bring with me my pleated 
shirt, and, for this reason, am not performing military 
service. Ah, if I had forgotten also to take with me my 
cap, I should not have thought of presenting myself to 
Vorontsov,2 and taking service at Tiflis. It could not be 
done in a fur cap. And what now awaits me only God 
knows ... I surrender myself to His will. Of what is 
necessary for my happiness, and, indeed, of what constitutes 
happiness, I have no knowledge. Do you remember the 
Archbishop's garden, Zinaida — the side path ? It was on 
the tip of my tongue to declare myself, as it was on yours ; 
it was my place to take the initiative, but do you know 
why, I thought, I said, nothing ? Because I was so happy 
that I had nothing to wish for, and feared to spoil my . . . 
not my felicity, but ours. 

To the end this gracious period will remain the best of 
my life's recollections. But what a vain and futile creature 
is man ! When questioned concerning the time spent in 
Kazan, I reply in a careless tone : " Yes, yes ; the society 
of the provincial capital was well enough, and I spent 
some very pleasant days there." 

Rascal ! Always have people turned everything into 

^ The circumstance that Tolstoy did not know, or had forgotten, 
the patronymic of Mile. Z. M. Molostvov is explained by the fact 
that he made her acquaintance when her father, Modest Porforyevich, 
was no longer living. According to the fashionable custom of that 
time, when conversation was carried on chiefly in French, she was 
called simply by her name, " Mile. Zina'ide." — Ed. 

2 His Excellency Prince Michael Semenovich Vorontsov (1782- 
1856), Viceroy of the Caucasus and Commander-in-chief of the 
armies of the Caucasus. . . . His son, Prince Simon Mikhailovich, 
and the latter's wife, Maria Vasilyevna, are depicted by Tolstoy in 
the story Hadji-Murat. . . . Although S. M. Vorontsov is not 
mentioned by Tolstoy in his Diary there is no doubt that he knew 
him personally, the more so that he served in Chechenia, where 
Vorontsov's son was in command of the Kurinsky regiment. — Ed. 


ridicule. They ridicule the suggestion that, with one's 
beloved, a wigv/am would be paradise, and declare it to be 
not true. Of course it is true ! And not only in a wigwam, 
but at Krapivna,^ at Stary-Yurt_, or anywhere else ! Yes, 
that a wigwam with one's beloved would be paradise is 
the truth, the truth, aye, a hundred times the truth ! 

August loth, 185 1. Stary-Yurt. — The night of the 3rd 
was glorious. Seated at the window of my hut in Staro- 
gladovskaya I revelled in nature with every sense save 
that of touch. The moon was not visible, but, in the 
south-east, a few clouds of night had begun to redden, 
and a light breeze was bringing a scent of freshness. Frogs 
and crickets were combining in a vague, monotonous song 
of the night, and the clear vault was studded with 
stars. At such times, how I love to gaze into the starry 
vault, where, behind large, clear stars, one can discern 
smaller stars merging into white patches, and, as one is 
gazing at and admiring them, suddenly becoming hidden 
again. How the stars seem to approach nearer ! It is an 
optical illusion which never fails to afford me delight. 

I know not how others indulge in fancies ; from what I 
have heard or read, they do so quite differently from myself. 
Folk say that, as one contemplates nature's beauty, there 
come to one thoughts of the greatness of God, and of 
the insignificance of man. Lovers discern in water the 
image of their beloved ; other people say that the hills 
tell them so-and-so, and the leaves something else, or that 
summonses have been communicated to them by trees. How do 
such ideas come to enter people's heads ? Even to imagine 
such follies is an effort. The longer I live, the more easily 
I accept various affectations in life, in conversation, etc.; 
but to this affectation I shall never, for all I hear, accus- 
tom myself. Whenever I have myself indulged ^ in what 
is called " dreaming " I find in my brain not a single idea 

1 A country town in the Government of Tula, situated about 
twenty-five miles from Yasnaya Poly ana. — Ed. 

2 " Indulged " stands in the copy ; it should read " indulge." 


of sense. So far otherwise is it that every thought flitting 
through my imagination is most paltry, the kind of thought 
which does not arrest the attention : and when at last I 
light upon a thought, bringing others in its train, that 
pleasant mood of moral indolence which constitutes my 
dreaming disappears, and I begin to reflect. 

I do not know the reason, but there persist in wandering 
through my errant thoughts memories of sundry nights. 
Tziganes . . . Katya's songs and eyes and smiles [i]] 
and tender words are still fresh in my memory. Why need 
I describe them, however ? I have something else to 
write about, 

I notice that there is in me an evil tendency to discursive- 
ness ; and this tendency, not any superabundance of ideas 
— as I used to think — is what so often hinders me from 
writing, and forces me to rise from my desk, and turn 
my thoughts to something quite other than that whereof 
I am writing. Yes, a pernicious tendency, this. For all 
his gigantic talent of narration and clever prattle, even 
my favourite author, Sterne, is tediously discursive. 

No one who has had many dealings with the Tziganes 
will have failed to acquire a habit of singing gipsy ditties, 
and, whether he sing them well or ill, he will find the 
doing so afford him pleasure, and bring back vivid memories. 
One characteristic feature brings back incidents with 
which the feature in question is connected. That feature 
in a gipsy song it is not easy to define. It lies in pro- 
nunciation, in a peculiar species of embellishment and 

I was singing such a gipsy ditty at my window — the 
song " Tell Me Why," a gipsy song which, though not 
one of my favourites, Katya had sung to me on an evening 
when, seated on my knee, she had declared that she 
loved only myself, and that the reason why she showed 
favour also to others was that her mates required her to 
do so, but that she conceded to none but myself liberties 
of the kind which need concealment behind the curtain 
of modesty. I believed with all my soul her artful gipsy 


chatter, and was in a good frame of mind, for no visitor 
had annoyed me. This is why I love the song and the 

With great animation I sang it, since there was no 
bashfulness to check my voice or confuse my passages. I 
listened to myself with keen delight. As always, vanity 
had stolen its way into my soul, and I was thinking: 
" Much as I love to hear myself, others must find it even 
more deUghtful." And I actually envied those persons 
whatsoever of the pleasure was not mine with them ! 
Suddenly, however, as I paused for breath, to listen 
to the sounds of the night, that I might with the keener 
relish troll the succeeding stanza, I heard something 
rustle beneath my window. 

" Who is that ? " "I," came the reply in a voice 
which, for all its tone of assurance that I should find 
the reply satisfactory, I failed to recognize. " Who is 
* I ' ? " I asked, vexed at having had my dreams and song 
disturbed by a passer-by. " I was on my way home, 
but stopped to listen." " Ah ! Then it is Mark, is it ? " 
" It is, your honour. And your honour likes to sing 
Calmuck songs ? " " Calmuck songs ? " " Yes, " went 
on the other, without noticing that I was grieved and 
offended. " I could hear that your voice had in it the 
Calmuck troll. Yes. Calmuck ! " To think that that 
crippled Mark should come and spoil my pleasure with his 
stupid talk ! All was over. No longer could I indulge 
either in dreams or song. Presently it occurred to me also 
that I must have been singing very badly, and that it was 
my singing that had provoked a laugh which I had heard 
issue from a neighbouring yard. This disagreeable im- 
pression recalled me to myself. Engage now in study I 
could not^ and I had no desire to go to bed ; whereas 
Mark seemed to be in excellent spirits after thus acting as 
the unconscious instrument of my disenchantment. Next 
I expressed my surprise that he too was not in bed, and he 
replied in affected and almost unintelligible terms to the 
effect that he v/as troubled with insomnia. Eventually 



there developed a conversation, for, on learning that I 
had no desire to sleep, he begged of me permission to enter, 
and, on my agreeing, seated himself and his crutches 
opposite my bed. The personality of Mark, also called 
Luke, is so interesting, so typically Cossack, that some 
attention may well be paid to it. 

My landlord, Yapishka, a veteran Cossack of Ermolov's 
day, a Uar and 1 . . .,^ it was that had first dubbed " Mark " 
by that name. This Yapishka did on the strength of the 
fact, as he explained, that there are three Apostles, Luke, 
Mark, and Nikita the Martyr ; and that any one of them 
was as good as the rest. Hence he called Lukashka 
" Mark," and the name soon ran through all the stanitsa. 

Mark is a man of twenty-five, short of stature, and a 

1 Dots stand after the letter "1" in the copy; the author may- 
have left the word unfinished, or the copyist may have failed to 
decipher it. 

Yapishka. Here, and at most places further on, there stands 
in the copy " Yapishka." It is obviously a mistake and we spell 
the name as the diminutive of " Epifan " is pronounced by the 
common people. In his letters Tolstoy calls him " Epishka." 
. . . He was an old Cossack with whom Tolstoy was friendly and 
whom he afterwards depicted as " Eroshka " in his story The 
Cossacks. Some inhabitants of Staroglakovskaya Stanitsa still 
remember this " Uncle Epishka." 

We adduce rather interesting details from a letter from a 
Caucasian : "At Starogladkovskaya Stanitsa I found a con- 
temporary of Uncle Epishka's and read The Cossacks to him, 
so as to hear from him something that might supplement the 
details given of Epishka- Eroshka." In everything Tolstoy 
has depicted him with photographic exactness. . . . The 
description of his appearance is correct save that his great 
' bushy grey ' beard was dyed dark red, according to the custom 
of the natives. . . . The natives of the Stanitsa remember Epishka 
as a bad character. He used to go beyond the Terek and bring 
back Chechenians. When young, he did not mind whom he 
robbed ; he robbed both his own people and the Chechenians " 
(from P. A. Tsyrulnikov's letters, 191 6). 

Tolstoy's brother, Nikolay Nikolayevich, among other things, 
says of this Epishka, whom he describes in detail in his Memoirs : 

" He is a very interesting and probably the last type of the old 
* Grebensky ' Cossacks. Epishka, as he put it himself, was a 
brave, a thief, a swindler. He used to steal horses and take them off 
to the other side, sell people and lasso Chechenians ; now he is a 
lonely old man, nearly 90. This man has seen many things in his 
life ! He has more than once been in prison and has been to 


cripple, with one foot disproportionately small as com- 
pared with his body, and the other foot disproportionately 
small (as well as crooked) as compared with the first one. 
Yet — or, rather, for that reason — he walks, with or without 
crutches, at a fairly good pace, to avoid losing his balance ; 
and as he does so he rests one foot almost on the ball of 
the toe, and the other foot almost on the tip. When seated 
he would seem to you to be a man of medium height, and 
well built. 

It is a remarkable fact that, however high be the chair 
on which he is seated, his legs always reach the floor. 
This peculiarity of sitting posture always struck me with 
surprise, and at first I attributed it to a faculty of stretch- 

Chechenia several times. His whole life is a string of the most 
strange adventures ; the old man never worked ; even his service 
was not what we now understand by the word. Either he acted 
as interpreter or was entrusted with such undertakings as he 
alone could carry out; for instance, to bring to town some native 
brave, dead or alive, from his own hut ; to set the house of Bey- 
Bulat on fire, who was known at the time as a leader of the 
mountaineers, to bring to the head of the detachment the 
" amanats," or honorary elders, from Chechenia, to go shooting 
with the commander. . . . Shooting and carousing were the old 
man's two passions : they were, and still are, his chief occupation ; 
all his other adventures are mere episodes. . . ." 

When we compare the description of the old Cossack " Epishka- 
Eroshka " given in the works of both L. N. and N. N. Tolstoy we 
become convinced that they fully agree, down to the smallest 
detail; this proves the veracity and accuracy of the two de- 
scriptions of this original personality. And it cannot be said 
that either brother borrowed his description from the other, for 
they wrote their works simultaneously. We know that Tolstoy 
began the story Cossacks in 1852 on the spot where he lived 
amongst the villagers, first giving it the title Sketches of the 
Caucasus. For instance, at a later date (Oct. 21, 1852) he notes 
down Yapishka's " wonderful tales " and, at the same time, at 
the end of 1852 his brother N. N. lets him read what are obviously 
the first sketches of Notes on Shooting. (Vide Diary for Oct. 29, 

In 1908 Tolstoy received a visit from Lieutenant-Colonel D. M. 
Sekhin, a great nephew of " Uncle Epishka," a Cossack of the 
Starogladkovskaya Stanitsa and ex-chief of police. At his request 
Tolstoy presented his protrait to the people of the Stanitsa with 
the inscription: "To the people of Starogladovskaya Stanitsa, in 
remembrance of L. N. Tolstoy" (in accordance with the notes of 
N. N. Gusev and A, B. Golden weiser) . — Ed. 


ing his legs ; but when I studied the matter in detail I 
discovered the cause to lie in an unusual flexibility of the 
spine and a capacity of the posterior to assume any and 
every shape. Viewed from in front, he appears not to 
be seated at all, but merely leaning against the chair, 
and curving himself so as to throw his arm over the back 
(a favourite attitude) ; but, one day, on walking round 
to the rear, I discovered with astonishment that he was 
in truth fulfilling all the conditions of a sitting posture. 
In person he is by no means comely, for he has a head 
small, and close-cropped in the Cossack fashion ; a fore- 
head extremely large and inteUigent ; beneath it a pair 
of cunning grey eyes, not destitute of a certain sparkle ; 
a very hooked nose ; lips thick and prominent ; and a chin 
studded with a short reddish beard. Such are the features of 
a countenance expressive of cheerfulness, self-satisfaction, 
intellect, and timidity. To describe him from the moral 
standpoint lies beyond me ; but, in so far as the following 
dialogue represents him, I may well reproduce it. As a 
matter of fact, we had had previous dealings and discus- 
sions, and that day he had come to me while I was 
packing my effects for the morrow's journey. At the 
time there was seated there Yapishka, whom Mark feared 
under the correct supposition that Yapishka would show 
jealousy of anything which I might present to Mark, 
whom I had chosen for my tutor in the Kumyk tongue. 

" Between you and myself, your Excellency, I may say " 
(this was a parenthetical sentence that he loved to use), 
" that I should like to present to you a small request ..." 
— " What is it ? " — " Permit me to state it presently — but 
after all " — he stopped for a moment to reflect — " I may 
do it now " — here a glance and a smile at Yapishka — " If 
I had a pencil and paper I should be able to write ..." 

I pointed out to him some writing requisites on the 
table, and he took a sheet of paper, composed his legs and 
crutches into a formless heap, seated himself upon the 
floor, put his head on one side — sucking hard at his pencil 
meanwhile — smiled, and, with difficulty, traced on the 


paper a number of scrawls which he proceeded further to 
elaborate on his knee. Five minutes later I received from 
him the following address — ^written, of course, awry, and in 
a large hand. As he delivered it he turned to Yapishka 
with the remark, " See now, uncle ! There you sit, yet 
you have not a notion of what I have written ! " — " You 
are the better man of letters," the other retorted with a 

" I venture to beg of your Excellency that, if you will 
be kind in the matter of the travelling samovar, I am pre- 
pared to be your servant in the future ; that is to say, 
if the samovar be old, and no longer needful for your re- 
quirements." — Probably the smile with which I said, 
" Very good. Take the thing," he conceived to be a 
tribute to his literary talent, for he responded with the 
same cunning, complacent smile as he had bestowed upon 
Yapishka. That was all. On the night of which I am 
speaking there ensued the following conversation. " You 
are not pleased, then, to go to bed ? " " No, I cannot 
sleep." " Where have you been ? " ''To tell the truth, 
I cannot sleep, so I have been strolling round the stanitsa, 
hither and thither, and am on my way home." [[38]. 

I possess this peculiarity : that of things which I do, 
not because I am fascinated by them, but in pursuance of 
a plan, I am afraid, so that I cannot resolve to mention 
them by name, or to approach them direct. And in 
Mark's conversation there is the peculiarity that it com- 
prises two forms of diction : the one the ordinary form 
which he uses on occasions of no special, or only a pleasant, 
importance, when, the circumstances being what they 
are, he bears himself simply and becomingly ; and the 
other the form which, if the conversation touches upon 
anything beyond the usual rut of his habits, leads him 
to use, not so much words, as periods affected and 
unintelHgible, while his whole exterior undergoes a com- 
plete change, his eyes take on an unwonted briUiancy, an 
unsteady smile twists his mouth, his body grows restless 
all over, and he ceases to be himself. 


Very amusing were Mark's conversation and narrative 
that night ; particularly his intercession on behalf of 
K . . . L . . ., who was attached to him, but who, 
having attained the end he desired, owing to his weak 
health could no longer make use of Mark's services. 

August 22nd. — The 28th will be my birthday, when I 
shall be twenty-three years old. And from that day I 
should Hke to live in conformity with the aim which I 
have set myself. To-morrow I will think out everything 
well, but now will re-apply myself to my diary, with a 
list of future occupations and a shortened Franklin table. 
This last I had supposed to have been born of the pedantry 
which works me harm ; but it is not there that the fault 
lies, since no table could restrain vigorous movement of 
the spirit, and if in any way this table affects me, it will 
prove of use in strengthening my character, and training 
me to activity ; wherefore I will continue my old system. 

At daybreak, fall to setting my papers, accounts, books, 
and engagements in order ; then collect my thoughts, and 
begin transcription of the first chapter of my novel. . . . 
After dinner (at which I shall eat little), apply myself to 
the Tartar language, to sketching, shooting, exercise, 
and reading. 

August 2yd. — I have been rather lazy, and several 
times lacking in energy. For instance, I failed to tell 
Suhmovsky ^ that he was hindering me and failed to start 
a conversation with a female neighbour. 

24. — I must rise before the sun, drink my tea without 
sitting down, and study some Tartar words. Before 
dinner, work at my novel, and, after dinner, apply myself 
to the Tartar language, sketching, shooting, and reading. 

August 2$th, — [[19]]. Yesterday I rose late, for Alexeyev 
called. He is beginning to weary me with his frivolous 
arguments about everything, expressed in pompous words. 

1 There were two brothers Sulimovsky : Alexander and Michael 
Ivanovich. We think it is the latter who is mentioned here, i.e. a 
second-lieutenant of the 4th battery, 20th brigade, Tolstoy's 
immediate commander, who had joined this brigade in the autumn 
of the same year as a gunner of the fourth class. — Ed. 


Yet manifestly he has no convictions at all, and, though kind 
of heart, is not so wisely. I did a little reading, but felt 
too lazy to work in earnest. After dinner I slept ; then 
Sado ^ came in, and, though very pleased to see him, I 
could not bring myself to pay him the money for the 
shooting. I will not pay it, but will take, instead, a 
horse. In the evening I again felt lazy. To-morrow I 
go to Kal-Yurt ^ ; oy . . . ^ to deal with some Tartars. 
I will try to inspire them with respect. It is long since 
I was last in danger, and I feel dull. To-morrow again 
en route ! 

August 26th. — It was impossible to cross the Terek. 
At least, so the Cossacks said. I did not greatly insist, 
for I had made no arrangements in advance. Spent the 
day upon nothing, for Sado was in my way. In the 
evening wandered about the stanitsa, [[2]], Yesterday 
Yapishka, when drunk, informed me that Salamalida is 
taking a turn for the better. Would that I could take 
her, and clean her ! To-morrow I should have gone out 
hunting but for the fact that I have not made arrange- 
ments overnight. Early in the morning I will fall to work 
at the novel, then do some rough riding, then study the 
Tartar language [[2]. 

* A young Chechenian. In a letter to Mme. T. A. Ergolsky 
(Jan, 6, 1852) Tolstoy writes : "... Near the camp there is a native 
village inhabited by Chechenians. A young Chechenian, Sado, 
used to come to the camp and play, but, as he could not count or 
write, there were scoundrels who cheated him. For this reason 
I have never wished to play against Sado and I have even told 
him he should not play because he was being cheated, and I have 
myself offered to play for him. He was very grateful to me for 
this. . . . Several times he has proved his devotion to me by exposing 
himself to danger ; but this, for him, is nothing — ^it has become a 
habit and a pleasure." In this letter Tolstoy gives a detailed 
description of Sado and of his friendly relations with him. . . . {Vide 
also footnote on p. 140,) — Ed. 

2 Kal-Yurt or Kam-Yurt. The word is illegible in the copy. 
The former is more correct. N. N. Tolstoy says in his notes : 
" We (our detachment) were marching from beyond Kal-Yurt 
towards Kazakachi. ..." Obviously this is a Tartar village in 
the Terek Province. — Ed. 

3 This word stands in the copy. — Ed, 


September 4th. — On the 27th my brother and Balta^ 
came to see me ; and on the 28th I attained my twenty-third 
year. I had counted much upon this period, yet, to my 
sorrow, find that I remain always the same: within a 
few days I have done all the things of which I dis- 
approved. Abrupt changes are impossible [2]]. Several 
times recently I have shown myself weak, both in ordinary 
relations with men, and in danger, and in card-play 
— and still am held back by false shame. I have told 
many lies. Also, God knows for what purpose, I have been 
to Groznaya, and did not approach Baryatinsky. Played 
in excess of what was in my pocket, and, on my return, let 
a day pass without asking Alexeyev for the money, as I 
had wanted to do. I have been idling away my time, 
and even now cannot collect my thoughts, and, although 
writing, I feel no incHnation to write. 

(Here is jotted down a Chechenian song ^ which it is difficult 
to decipher). — [Copyist.]^ 

[End of the " Diary ''for 1851.*] 

1 A Chechenian and a friend of Tolstoy's and of his brother, 
N. N. In the copy stands the word " Baltogo." — Ed. 

2 Possibly one of the songs which Tolstoy put in the mouth of 
the Chechenian Hanefi {vide the story " Hadji-Murat," chap. 
XX.), beginning with the words : " The earth will dry upon my 
grave. . . ." As we know, Tolstoy communicated it as early as 
1875 to A. A. Fet, who put it into verse as " Two Songs of the Moun- 
taineers of the Caucasus " : (i) " The mound of my grave will begin 
to dry," and (2) " Thou heated bullet, bringest death with thee." 
Fet was grateful to Tolstoy for " letting him have the two songs 
of the Caucasus." . . . — Ed. 

3 The italicised words are contained in the copy at the Editor's 
disposal [vide footnote on p. 120). — Ed. 

^ The Diary for 1851 breaks off with the entry for Sept. 4, and 
is continued only in February of the following year. In order 
to recapitulate briefly the chief events in Tolstoy's life and his 
moods during these five months we turn to his letters (which 
have already appeared in print) to Mme. T. A. Ergolsky and his 
brother Count Sergey Nikolayevich, written from Tifiis. He evidently 
went to Tiflis with the intention of definitely ascertaining what 
his position was, i.e. whether he was to join the army as a cadet 
or to return to Russia, should he not be successful. As we know, 


he managed to join the very battery to which his eldest brother, 
the Count Nikolay Nikolayevich, was attached. 

We are here adducing some of the more essential portions of 
three letters of Tolstoy's of which we have knowledge and which 
portray his moods, his new acquaintances, and the manner in 
which he spent his time. 

1. From a letter to Mme. T. A. Ergolsky : 

" We really did set out on the 25th, and, after seven days of 
journeying . . ., arrived on the ist of the present month. 

" I omitted to bring with me some documents which at the present 
moment are in P. Hence I must wait, and have decided to do so 
at Tiflis ; though, since Nikolinka's leave is ended, he left here 
three days ago. . . . 

" If the papers should not arrive within a month, I shall retire 
from military service, as, in that case, I could not take part in 
the winter campaign, which was my sole reason for entering the 
army. . . ." "Tiflis, Nov. 12, 1851. . . ." 

2. Later (on June 26th, 1852), in a letter to Mme. T. A. Ergolsky, 
Tolstoy wrote : 

" From Tiflis I wrote you that my discharge [from the Civil 
Service] was not yet come to hand, but that I had donned military 
uniform, and was about to depart for my battery. General Wolf 
arranged it : he caused a paper to be sent to the battery stating 
that ' Count Tolstoy has intimated to me a desire to join the 
Service ; but inasmuch as his discharge is not yet arrived, and 
he cannot be gazetted subaltern, I request of you to make such 
use of him that, on receipt of the discharge, he may be posted to 
actual duty, with seniority from the day of first employment in 
the battery.' This paper in my pocket, I set out for Starogladov- 
skaya, but failed to find Nikolay there, since he had departed 
with the expedition. Hence, getting myself into uniform, I set 
forth after him, that is to say, I was used for service, though I 
had not yet been gazetted. The missing document arrived at 
Tiflis in January, and at Starogladovskaya only in March — i.e. 
after we had returned from the expedition "... {vide entry 
for Feb. 28, 1852, concerning this " expedition)." 

3. From a letter to Count S. N. Tolstoy : 

" . . . If I attain my wish, I shall, on the day of my appointment, 
set out for Starogladovskaya, and thence, immediately, join the 
expedition, where I shall ride and march in a sheepskin or a Cir- 
cassian coat, and, to the best of my ability, help, with the aid of 
my gun, to exterminate these brigands, these insolent Asiatics. . . . 

" . . . Probably you would like to know who have been, and 
who are, my acquaintances, and in what relation I stand towards 
them. In this battery the of&cers are few, and, therefore, I know 
them all, though only superficially. Also, I enjoy general esteem, 
since always Nikolinka and I have by us, for the benefit of visitors, 
vodka, wine, and a snack. On the same basis has there developed, 
and rests, my acquaintanceship with other regimental officers 
whom I came to know at Stary-Yurt (the watering-place where 
I spent the summer) and on the expedition in which I took part 


Although they are more or less good fellows, I am on the same 
footing with them all — for I have more interesting occupations 
than conversing with officers. ..." 

4. Later Tolstoy writes again to Mme. T. A, Ergolsky, as though 
summing up what he had lived through during the past year : 

"... I believe that faults and qualities, the bases of character, 
remain ever the same ; whereas views of life, of happiness, change 
with years. Twelve months ago I thought to find happiness 
in diversion, in movement ; but now rest, physical and moral, is 
what I want. Only a condition of tranquillity without weariness, 
the peaceful joys of love and friendship, do I imagine as the summit 
of felicity, for only after fatigue can one enjoy the charm of rest, 
and only after absence of love can one enjoy love's rapture. At 
present I lack both the one and the other, and am therefore yearning 
for them. How much longer must I be thus deprived ? God only 
knows ! For some reason I feel this to be necessary. Religion 
and my experience of life, however small, have taught me that life 
is a testing. And for me it is more than a testing : it is an expia- 
tion of my sins. . . " Mozdok Station, January 12, 1852. — Ed. 


February ^th, 1852. — (Nikolayevka — I am proceeding 
with the detachment ^). I am indifferent to hfe, for in it I 
have experienced too Uttle happiness to love Hfe and, there- 
fore, I do not fear death. Nor of suffering have I any fear ; 
only of being unable to bear death and suffering well. I 
am not altogether easy in mind. This I can tell by the fact 
that I keep passing from one mood, one outlook ... to 
another. Strange that my childish view of war — bravado 
— is the most restful for me. I am in large measure 
returning to my childish conception of things. . . . 

1852. February 28th. With the detachment near TeplikP' 
— It has never fallen to me to realize in actuality the ex- 
pectations of my fancy. Yet it has been my wish that fate 
would place me in positions of difficulty, positions that 
call for spiritual strength and virtue. My imagination 
has loved to present to me such positions, and an inner 
feeling has added : " The necessary strength and virtue 
are yours." In fact, my conceit and my reliance upon my 
own spiritual strength have grown as they met with no 
opposition. Occasions there have been when I might 
have justified this self-assurance ; but never have I done 
so — I have merely excused myself on the ground that the 

1 Yanzhul relates in his book that the Russians embarked 
resolutely upon the final conquest of Chechenia in 1852. At the 
beginning of January, Major-General Prince Baryatinsky,commander 
of the left wing of the army, opened hostilities from the fortress of 
Vozdvizhensky, simultaneously launching an auxiliary column 
from the entrenched Kurinsky camp. Count Leo Tolstoy, who 
subsequently wrote the immortal works Felling Wood, the Grebentsy 
(Cossacks), War and Peace, etc., was a gunner in charge of one 
of the guns of the 4th battery in Colonel Baklanov's column. — Ed. 

2 Teplik or Tepli — a mountain village in the province of 
Daghestan. — Ed. 



difficulties presented were too few, and I did not utilize 
the whole of my spiritual strength. 

I have been proud, but with a pride resting not on 
deeds, but on a constant hope that I should prove capable 
of all things. Hence has my external pride lacked cer- 
tainty, firmness, or constancy, and passed continually 
from extreme arrogance to superfluous modesty. 

My eyes have been opened by my condition in times of 
danger. I used to try to picture myself as absolutely cool 
and calm in danger ; but in the actions of the 17th and 
1 8th ^ I proved otherwise. I have not the excuse which 
I used to make to myself, that the danger was less than I 
had pictured. There was a unique opportunity for dis- 
plajdng all my spiritual strength ; yet I showed myself 
weak. Hence I am dissatisfied with myself. 

Only now have I come to understand that it is decep- 
tive to feel sure of one's actions in the future, and that 
men may rely upon themselves only in so far as they have 
had previous experience, and that that rehance annuls their 
very strength, and that one should regard no occasion as too 
insignificant to apply the whole of one's strength to it. 
In short, never ought one to defer until to-morrow what 

^ The battle mentioned here which took place on Feb. 17 and 18, 
is in all probability the one referred to by Tolstoy forty-five years 
later, in his Diary for 1897. In an editorial note the supposition 
is expressed that Tolstoy was one year out of his reckoning, and 
that he probably had in mind the battle of 1853, which had also 
taken place on Feb. 17 and 18. But having studied the present 
volume of the Diary we are inclined to assume that Tolstoy 
recalled in 1897 the first battle in which he had taken part, although 
his recollections of it were less vivid than those of the battle which 
took place a year later and in which his life was endangered. 

We read in Yanzhul's book : "In order to . . . survey the 
straight road from the village of Tepli to the entrenched Kurinsky 
camp. Prince Baryatinsky made a move into the heart of Chechenia, 
in the direction of Meskir-Yurt, on Feb. 17 (1852)." We quote 
brief extracts from a description of this action : " About seven 
miles in a direct line had still to be covered to reach the entrenched 
Kurinsky camp, but in view of the fact that the mountaineers 
were offering a stubborn resistance, Prince Baryatinsky dispatched 
an order to Colonel Baklanov to send out a detachment to meet 
him . . . This was to divert the attention of some of Shamil's forces 
and to enable Baryatinsky's detachment to reach Kurinsky without 


can be done to-day. Siniple though this rule is, often 
though I have heard it, I have only now come to under- 
stand and to recognize its verity. Only one known road 
exists whereby thought can merge into conviction. 

March 20th, 1852. Starogladkovskaya?- — I have been re- 
reading my old Diary from July 1851, and also something 
else that I find written in the book. The pleasure which 
the re-reading has afforded me forces me to continue the 
Diary, so that I may prepare for myself a similar pleasure 
in the future. 

Certain thoughts recorded in the book struck me 
through their originality, or through their correctness. 
The faculty of such bold and rugged writing and thinking 
seems now to have left me. True, such boldness is fre- 
quently combined with a tendency to paradox; yet for 
that very reason there is present also the more assuredness. 
Now, however, I have grown too indolent even to think, 
or to persuade myself of anything. 

No less than of old, however, do I believe and doubt. 
In every respect is there equilibrium. Being too in- 
dolent to persuade myself of aught, I have grown weary 

great losses. Colonel Baklanov left the entrenched camp on 
Feb. 18. This column, led by good guides, marched across country 
in complete silence, to avoid being prematurely discovered by the 
enemy. ... At dawn the column descended into the valley of 
the Michik and, quickly crossing the river, occupied the village of 
Gurtali, which had been forsaken by the villagers, where they met 
with little resistance. When darkness came on, Baklanov gave 
orders to abandon the position and to speedily re-cross the Michik, 
thus deceiving the mountaineers by the successful manoeuvre of a 
false retreat and extricating himself from a dangerous position 
without experiencing heavy losses. . . ." 

At a later date Tolstoy writes to Mme. T, A. Ergolsky : 
" I wrote Serezha that I took part in it (the expedition) as a 
volunteer, in order that you might grasp the fact that I hope 
neither for a cross nor for promotion, . . . During this campaign 
I twice had a chance of being recommended for the cross of 
St George, but I could not obtain it because the damned paper 
arrived a few days too late. I was recommended on Feb. 17 (my 
name's day), but I was bound to refuse it owing to the absence of 
this document " {i.e. his discharge from the Civil Service). (June 
26, 1852, Pyatigorsk.) — Ed. 
^ First entry. — Ed. 


of losing belief in aught. Hence I preserve the more 
carefully those beliefs which my restless mind has left 
quiescent. I fear to be disenchanted of, or even to think 
of, them. 

I confess that one of the chief aspirations of my life has 
always been to become firmly and immutably convinced 
of things. As I grow older, then, are doubts springing to 
birth ? Many of the recollections which I have derived 
from my Diary are pleasant merely because they are 
recollections. During the period when I was keeping 
that Diary, I was very evil, my bent was of the most errone- 
ous kind ; there is not a moment during the period that I 
should like to restore precisely as it was ; any changes that 
I should like to make I should like to make in myself. 
My best recollections refer to dear Volkonsky.^ 
At every point in the Diary there is visible one leading 
idea and desire : namelj/, that I should be delivered from 
the vanity which was crushing and marring all my 

1 P. I. Biryukov (in his Life of Tolstoy) says : 

" In looking through the genealogy of the Princes Volkonsky 
I came across another interesting personage, a cousin of Tolstoy's 
mother, the Princess Barbara Alexandrovna Volkonsky, who knew 
a great deal of Tolstoy's grandfather and his family. We find the 
following statement about her in the genealogy : 

" ' The Princess Barbara Alexandrovna Volkonsky (daughter 
of Prince Alexander Sergeyevich, and niece of Tolstoy's grand- 
father) after her mother's death frequently made long stays with 
her father at the house of his brother Nikolay Sergeyevich 
(Tolstoy's grandfather). Here she met the persons described by 
Count Leo Tolstoy in his novel Way and Peace, and many details 
relating to them and to the events of their time remained fresh in 
her memory in her old age. . . . Towards the close of her life 
she moved to the village of Sogalevo, in the Klin district, which 
also belonged to her parents. Here she had a house built for herself 
close to the church, and in the society of a few old female servants 
who did not care to part from her, she passed her life recalling 
the past, reading and re-reading War and Peace. Long forgotten 
by others, the aged princess remained an object of respect and 
devotion for the local peasants. To one casual visitor who called 
on her in 1876, she related with delight how peasants of villages 
long before sold and which had passed into third hands, had never- 
theless, on her ninetieth birthday, presented her with a sack of flour 
and a silver rouble, while the women brought her a rouble, fowls, 
and linen. She told this not only with a feeling of gratitude, 


pleasures ; that I should discover some means of deliver- 
mg myself from the same. 

It is nearly seven months^since I ceased keeping a diary. 
I spent September at Starogladkovskaya, in proceeding on 
journeys to Groznaya and Stary-Yurt, or else in hunting, 
or else in running after Cossack women, or else in drinking, 
writing a little, and translating. In October my brother 
and I proceeded to Tifiis, for me to be appointed to the 
Service ; and there I spent a month in doubt as to what 
I should do, and with vain and foolish plans in my head. 
From November onwards I was undergoing treatment; 
spending the next two months, until the New Year, in- 
doors. Yet the time, though tedious, was passed quietly 
and usefully, for during it I wrote the whole of Part I.^ 

January I spent partly on the march, and partly at 
Starogladkovskaya. Worked at, and corrected, Part I., 
made preparations for the field, and remained quiet and 

February I spent in campaigning — well-pleased with 

but also of pride, since it was a proof of the kind recollection the 
peasants still cherished of her parents.' 

" In going through this manuscript Tolstoy inserted the following 
remark : 

" ' I knew the dear old lady, my mother's cousin, I made her 
acquaintance when living in Moscow in the 'fifties. Tired of the 
dissipated worldly life I was then leading in Moscow, I went to 
stay with her on her little estate in the district of Klin, where I 
passed a few weeks. She embroidered, managed her little house- 
hold, treated me to sauer-kraut, cream cheese, and fruit marmalades, 
such as are only made by housewives on such small estates ; and 
she told me things about old times, about my mother, my grand- 
father, and the four coronations at which she had been present. 
During my stay with her I wrote Three Deaths. This visit 
has remained one of the pure, bright recollections of my life ' " 
(vide Tolstoy's Life, vol. i., pp. 28-39). Tolstoy evidently con- 
fuses here two periods of his life. He probably made the acquaint- 
ance of Princess Volkonsky in 1851, but wrote his Three Deaths at 
her estate in January, 1858. His remark that his best recollections 
noted down in the Diary for 1851 relate to Volkonsky compels us 
to assume that a portion of the Diary for 1851 was lost, for in the 
copy at our disposal no earlier mention is made of Princess 
Volkonsky, — Ed. 

1 Part I. of the story Childhood {vide subsequent entries and 
remarks). — Ed. 


myself. Early in March I prepared for the Sacrament ; now 
I feel dull and slothful. When departing for the field, I 
to such an extent prepared myself for death that I not 
only abandoned, I even wholly forgot, my former pursuits, 
so that I find it more difficult than ever to resume them. 

During the past interval I have thought little of myself ; 
yet into my mind there has crept an idea that I am far 
better than I used to be. This has even grown into a 
conviction. Am I really better, or is this the mere arro- 
gant assurance of reformation which used to be mine 
whenever I sought to determine for myself a future form 
of life ? 

So far as I have understanding of myself, there appear 
to predominate in me three evil passions : an addic- 
tion to play, sensuality, and vanity. Long ago I came 
to the conviction that virtue, even in the highest degree, 
means absence of evil passions : wherefore, if I have really 
to any extent destroyed in myself the passions which pre- 
dominate, I can say with boldness that I have become 
better. Let each of the passions in question be examined. 

The passion for play proceeds from a passion for money. 
Yet most people (especially such as lose more than they win) 
having taken to playing either through lack of something 
to do, or through imitation, or through a desire to win, have 
no passion for the winnings themselves, but acquire a new 
passion for play, for sensations. Consequently the source 
of the passion Hes only in habitude : and the means of 
destruction of the passion is to destroy the habitude. This 
is what I myself have done. The last time that I played 
was at the end of August, i.e. over six months ago ; yet I 
feel no impulse to resume my gaming. At Tiflis I played 
for points with a marker, and lost about a thousand 
— indeed I might have lost my all ; wherefore when 
the habitude has been assimilated it can easily be re- 
newed ; and for the same reason, though feeling no desire 
to play, I feel bound to avoid all occasions of plajdng — 
and this I am continuing to do without any consciousness 
of deprivation. 


Of sensuality the basis is wholly different. The more 
one refrains therefrom, the stronger does the desire 
for it grow. Its causes are two : namely, the body and 
the imagination. The body can be withstood with ease, 
but with the imagination, which acts upon the body, it 
is a very difficult matter ! Against both do work and 
occupation constitute the resource — whether physical, 
such as gymnastics, or moral, such as composition. But 
no ; inasmuch as the impulse is a natural one, one which 
seems bad only because of the unnatural position in which I 
am placed (a bachelor at twenty-three), nothing can avail 
to deliver one from temptation save strength of will and 
prayer to God. [15]]. 

Vanity is an unintelligible passion — one of those evils, 
such as involuntary diseases, hunger, locusts, and war, 
with which Providence is wont to punish humanity. The 
sources of it lie beyond discovery ; but the causes which 
develop it are inactivity, luxury, and absence of cares and 
privations. It constitutes a kind of moral sickness which, 
like leprosy, destroys no definite portion, but renders 
monstrous the whole — it creeps in gradually and imper- 
ceptibly until it has permeated the whole organism. There 
is not a function which it does not poison. It is like syphilis 
— when driven out of one part, it reappears, with added 
force, in another. The vain man knows neither true joy, 
nor grief, nor love, nor fear, nor despair, nor hatred : 
everything in him is unnatural and forced. 

Vanity is a sort of immature love of eclat, a sort of love 
of self transferred to the opinion of others. One loves 
oneself, not for what one is, but for what one appears to 
others to be. In our own age this passion is developed 
to excess ; and though men deride it, they do not con- 
demn it, in that it does no harm to others. Yet for the man 
whom it possesses it is a worse passion than any other — 
it poisons his whole existence. And an exceptional 
feature which it shares with leprosy is its extreme power 
of contagion. 

I myself have suffered much from this passion. It has 


spoilt for me the best years of my life, and for ever de- 
prived me of the freshness, the courage, the buoyancy, 
the enterprise, of youth. 

Nevertheless, though I know not how, I have crushed 
it down, and even fallen into the opposite extreme — I 
am on my guard against any and every manifestation of 
it, and reflect in advance, lest I relapse into my old failing. 
And, whether through chance or Providence I know not, 
the passion has been so rarely satisfied that I have ex- 
perienced only the pangs which it entails. Also, whether 
through the influence of my brother, who hardly knows 
what vanity means, or whether through my remoteness 
from vain circles, and a form of life which has forced me 
to look at my position from a serious point of view, I 
succeeded, while at Tiflis, in altogether annihilating the 
passion. Yet that the passion has quite been put an end 
to is more than I can say, for I am still wont to sigh for 
the amenities which it used to afford me. But at least I 
have come to understand life apart from it, and to acquire 
a habit of keeping it at a distance. 

Only recently, for the first time since childhood, have 
I experienced the pure delights of prayer and of love. 

According to my Diary of the past winter, it is obvious 
that I wanted to extirpate the obsession, but encountered 
only unpleasant phenomena, through not understanding 
that the obsession must be plucked up by the roots if one 
is to be delivered from it. Now I believe myself to have 
done this ; though still I incline towards the passion, and 
therefore must guard against a renewal of its contagion. 

March 20th (1852).^ — Rose at 9 o'clock, after suffering 
severe toothache till daybreak. Partly through laziness, 
partly through indisposition, omitted to attend drill, but 
read over my old Diary, and wrote in the new until dinner 
time. Alexeyev was as wearisome as ever, with endless 
tales that interest no one ; he is a bad listener, and has a 
diffident, shifting glance. Probably it is my own glance that 
affects him, and this is why I find it awkward to look him 

^ Second entry. — Ed. 


in the face, (Subaltern Makhin). After dinner I wrote 
until Durda ^ entered and disturbed me. Nevertheless I 
was too shy to dismiss him, since on former occasions I had 
accorded him a welcome. He seems a clever rogue. He 
told me of a fight for a mosque between Hadji-Murat ^ and 

^ A Chechenian friend of Tolstoy's, — Ed. 

2 Hadji-Murat, a native of Hunzaha (the principal town of the 
Avar Khans in olden times), in the Province of Daghestan (North- 
Eastern part of the Caucasus). Hadji — an Arabic word applied 
to a Mahomedan who has made the hadg-pilgrimage to Mecca 
or any other of the Mahomedan holy places. It is an honorary 
appellation bestowed on a man for the rest of his life. Hadji- 
Murat was one of the most active and capable leaders of the 
Caucasian mountaineers, and one who distinguished himself by 
daring raids upon the Russian detachments. He became known 
in 1834, and played a prominent part in all the military events of 
that time, especially in 1843. At the close of 1851, however, he 
quarrelled with Shamil (the principal leader of such mountaineers 
as had not then been subdued), and, fearing Shamil's vengeance, 
fled to Chechenia, where he surrendered to the Russian authorities, 
in the hope of enlisting their help in the rescue of his family, which 
had been arrested by Shamil, while, for their part, the Russian 
authorities hoped to utilize Hadji-Murat's great popularity among 
the mountaineers for attracting them to the Russian side. In 
the end, unable to bear captivity, and anxious concerning the fate 
of his family, still in the hands of Shamil, Hadji-Murat fled from 
Mukha (April 22, 1852) and fell in a fight with the Cossacks who 
were sent in pursuit. 

In a letter to his brother Sergey Nik. of December 23rd, 1851, 
Tolstoy writes from Tiflis : "If you wish to thrill anyone with 
news from the Caucasus, tell him that the personage next to 
Shamil, one Hadji-Murat, has just surrendered to the Russian 
Government. He was the best horseman and warrior in Chechenia ; 
yet now he has committed this baseness ! " The skirmish around 
the mosque mentioned by Tolstoy in his Diary is described by him 
in his tale Hadji-Murat, written at a later date. 

We read also in Yanzhul's book of Hadji-Murat. When relating 
how Shamil made an incursion into Avaria (already occupied by 
the Russians) with a large band of mountaineers in February 
1839, the author says : " The Avar-Mekhtulin militia which was 
sent to oppose him under command of Hadji-Murat (at that time 
a sworn enemj'- of Shamil's, and devoted to us) could not withstand 
the enemy, and the imam (Shamil) occupied some villages. . . ." 
At the same place the author also remarks : " Hadji-Murat was an 
ensign in our service. He was of the family of the Avar- Khans, 
and this explains his participation in the murder of Gazelat-Beg 
and, in general, his unfavourable attitude towards the murids and 
their teaching. Subsequently, owing to a mistake made by our 


Arslan-Khan. It would be indeed interesting to see them ! 
For some reason or another Durda is now very civil, and 
holds a good opinion of the Russians ; but last year he 
recounted to me with pride how he used to beat the Cos- 
sacks. How strange that not a man among the multitude of 
Chechenians, who are constantly in touch with the Russians, 
has pointed out the roads which Bota ^ did, even though 
the Chechenians are so fond of gain ! When I questioned 
Durda on the point, he replied that Bota must have been 
very angry. Why did I tell Durda that I had seen Bota 
show fear of a shell when I had not done so ? 

When Durda had departed I went in search of Yano- 
vich,2 hut, this time, with a very different intention. From 
the moment that I first met Pomchishka (probably not by 
chance on her part), she has often recurred to my thoughts, 
[[5]]. At Yanovich's was a subaltern whom I disliked so 
greatly that, on catching sight of him, I forbore to enter. 
As I departed with Yano\dch, something made me burst into 

authorities, he was suspected of treason and arrested. From that 
moment he went over to Shamil and became a foe of the Russians." 
The bold attacks upon Russian detachments made several times 
by "this daring horseman," with an army 8000 strong, in Daghestan 
in 1 85 1 are also described in Yanzhul's book. . . . — Ed. 

^ " Bota," perhaps a slip of the pen and should read " Bata." 
A Chechenian who, known also as Batata, Baty Shamurzov, 
or simply Murzayev, was, as a boy, adopted by Baron Rosen, and 
at one time served as interpreter to the commander of the left 
wing in the Caucasus. Subsequently, after quarrelling with the 
authorities, he fled to Shamil, who set a high value upon his know- 
ledge of the Russian organization and language, and made him 
chief of Greater Chechenia. But success turned Bata's head, 
and he took to imposing onerous levies upon the mountaineers 
under his authority ; with the result that, being deprived of his 
appointment by Shamil, he (in 1851) returned to the Russian side, 
was promoted to the rank of lieutenant, and appointed elder of 
Kachkalykov. Owing to his intimate knowledge of the Caucasus, 
and of the habits of the mountaineers, he proved of great service 
to the Russian troops, and was richly rewarded by Prince 
Baryatinsky. . . . — Ed. 

2 A brother officer of Count N. N. Tolstoy whose name makes 
frequent appearance in Yanzhul's book amongst the officers of the 
4th battery (in 1852 and 1853), in the rank of " ensign, ex-cadet." 
. . . He is mentioned more frequently and with more detail in 
the Diary for 1853 (vide Diary, Youth, vol. ii.). — Ed, 


laughter and feel that I wanted, to use NikoHnka's expres- 
sion, to "play a prank." God grant that this frame of 
niind may recur to me as often as possible ! It is long 
since I have been as cheerful as to-day. It is because 
to-day I have been at work. For all the advantages that 
seem to lie in toil, for all the absence either of advantages 
or pleasure that lie in indolence, indolence generally gains 
the day. I hke Yanovich for his kindly and frank 
modesty : so much so that in a few days I have become 
as famihar with him as with an old acquaintance. To-day 
I played with him a hasty, careless game of chess — then 
did some gymnastics at which Sulimovsky was present. 
Later, I know not why, I called Dmitry in, and made fun 
of him. It was a stupid thing to do. Also, I played a 
few games of chess badly, and then Yanovsky ^ went 
to supper, while I sat down to write letters to Valerian 
and Audrey Ilyin.^ I had drafted these letters on re- 
ceiving one from Audrey, and at the time had been out of 
temper, and thought it right to be so ; but now I was in 
a good humour, and the combination of the two moods 
resulted in letters not at all to my liking, in that the 
annoyance and the expressions were quite feminine. I 
read Thierry,^ and at 11.30 am going to bed. 

To-morrow I must rise as early as possible, and try to 
spend the fullest possible day. Oh this accursed indolence ! 
What a fine man I should be but for its hindrance ! — ^Am 
anxious and lost without my brother, and unworthy 
thoughts keep entering my head. 

March 21st. — Rose at 8, read a chapter of Thiers as 
I drank my tea, then went for a walk with Dmitry and the 
dogs. Foohsh, this, for I had better have gone to drill — 
better still, not have gone an5^where, seeing that I had a 

1 Probably a slip of the pen and should read " Yanovich." — Ed. 

2 Andrey Ilyin, steward at Yasnaya Polyana. — Ed. 

3 Thierry. Perhaps this is a slip of the pen, and should read 
"Thiers" [vide entry for March 21, 1852). It is possible, 
however, that Tolstoy was reading Amedee Thierry's articles in 
the Bihlioteka Dlya Chteniya, which appeared in this magazine 
during the year. Amedee Thierry (i 797-1 877), a talented French 
historian. — Ed. 


return of toothache. Shot no game, returned home, and, 
until dinner-time, translated. After dinner discussed 
conflagrations with Hilkovsky,^ and fairly well. A splendid 
old man — simple (in the good sense of the word) and 
brave ! Of these two qualities I am certain, while at the 
same time his exterior does not exclude a possibility of 
every other virtue — as does Sulimovsky's (?). Alexe- 
yev (?) was quite taken up with the hay, and his glance 
looked steady. I feel sure that the cause of vanity lies 
in physical and mental inactivity. 

After dinner fair-copied Part I., and worked without 
any need to force myself. God send that this always be 
so ! Sultanov ^ arrived in raptures because he had re- 

^ Hilkovsk}^ In the pages of Yanzhul's book, Eighty Years of 
the 20th Artillery Brigade,'' one frequently meets with the name 
Captain Hilkovsky as that of a participator in many battles (in the 
list of officers there are no initials before his name). In one of his 
letters to Mme, T. A. Ergolsky (July 5, 1851) Tolstoy, enumerating 
the officers in whose society he had found his brother N. N., says 
amongst other things : " Then there is old Captain Bilkovsky, 
of the Ural Cossacks, a simple old soldier but noble, brave and 
kind. . . ." Evidently the person who copied the letter has here 
made a mistake: it should read not Bilkovsky, but " Hilkovsky," 
for his name and the initial " H " are frequently met with in the 
pages of the Diary ; whereas we find Bilkovsky mentioned only 
once in this letter, and not at all in the Diary. Judging by the 
description there is no doubt that it is one and the same person. 
Nor does the name Bilkovsky figure in the list of officers in Yanzhul's 
book. — Ed. 

2 Sultanov. Tolstoy's remarks concerning this person coincide 
with the description of Mamonov given by his brother N. N. in his 
" Notes " as that of a " passionate hunter and a lover of dogs, who 
lives in the gardens of Kizlyar." N. N. Tolstoy says of him, amongst 
other things : "This Mamonov was a strange fellow; he seemed to 
have been born a hunter. At least, I cannot picture him other- 
wise than surrounded by dogs, with his gun and horn, in some queer 
hunting costume. . . . When out hunting he was almost un- 
bearable, for he disputed and bragged. . , . Mamonov imagined 
that a good sportsman must needs make a noise, shout and dispute. 
Mamonov's want of courtesy merged into rudeness. . . . There 
was nothing sacred to him save one or two dogs from which he 
did not part, either by day or by night. In the regiment he was 
liked both by soldiers and officers ; they all looked upon him as a 
truly brave man, yet most careless and quite useless on duty. . . . 
In short, he was quite incorrigible ; even the Tartars were afraid 
of him and called him Sheitan-Agach (Forest-devil). Mamonov 


ceived some dogs. He is a notable and original personality. 
If he had not had the passion for dogs, he would have been 
an absolute scoundrel. The passion is what best consorts 
with his nature. — My brother arrived, and I told him how 
unpleasant I found it to insert an untruth into a reference ^ 
for which I was asked. I did so in the hope that he would 
reassure me on the point, and say that the whole matter 
was rubbish ; but, on the contrary, he declared that I 
had done amiss. Strange is it that he, with his knightly 
code of honour, to which he always remains true, should 
be able to get on with, even to enjoy himself with, these 
officers here ! But why have he and I found things so 
awkward between us since my return from Tiflis ? Is it 
not because we have loved one another to excess, idealized 
one another while parted, and mutually expected too much? 
The order of occupations which I have adopted — 
namely, in the morning, translation, after dinner, 
correction, in the evening, the story — is excellent. The 
only point is that I do not know when to do gjnnnastics ; 
though they are eminently necessary, and I ought daily 
to take exercise of some sort. The hour is ii o'clock, 
and I am taking supper, and shortly going to bed. When 
one is employed, the time passes so quickly that one 
would like to arrest it. When one is idle, it passes so 
slowly that one would like to goad it onwards. Which 
is more agreeable ? It would be hard to say. I only 

used to go about alone with his dogs in the most dangerous places. 
He several times encountered the mountaineers but was always 
lucky in getting away from them, . . . When Mamonov appeared 
in the yard, gun in hand, blew a blast and shouted in his bass voice : 
' To heel, dogs ! ' a whole pack of dogs of all possible breeds and 
ages would come bounding, barking and jumping around him. 
At such moments he was wonderful. . . . Mamonov's mania was 
to exchange, to give, to sell, and generally to trade in dogs. . . ." 
The author of the Sporting Notes probably substituted an 
assumed name for the real one, for it is dif&cult to admit that 
there might have existed simultaneously, at one and the same spot. 
two persons so closely resembling each other. This conjecture 
is also confirmed by the fact that Tolstoy, who went shooting with 
his brother at Kizlyar at that time, nowhere mentions Mamonov's 
name {vide entry for April 4, 1852, concerning Sultanov). — Ed. 
1 Probably into letters {vide entry for March 20, p. 133) . — Ed. 

136 THE DIARY 01' 

know that, according to my recollections, a single day in 
employment is equal to three hoHdays. This reckoning 
would seem to make time pass the quicker on idle days : 
whereas the reverse is the case. 

^^ March 22nd (1852). — I rose at 10, since during the night 
my teeth had ached, so that I had kept moaning and 
crying out in my sleep. Drank two glasses of coffee to 
counteract the camphor of which I had swallowed much 
during the toothache, and after this perspired the whole 
morning. My brother and Yanovich came in. They 
disturbed me a little, but I went on with my work of trans- 
lation. Dined at home, and, after dinner, idled a while 
— ^that is to say, worked, but not so industriously as 
yesterday. ([9]]. 

Also, did less correction than yesterday, and less care- 
fully ; this chiefly to prevent my work from becoming 
irksome. Lost two games of chess to Yanovich minus 
the queen. Herein he showed how modest he is. Did 
not continue the story, partly because I was unable, and 
partly because I am beginning gravely to doubt the merits 
of Part I., which seems too detailed, prolix, and lifeless. 
I must reconsider the matter. 

Sensuality is beginning to reawaken within me. I 
must be careful. Did almost no physical exercises ; and 
inasmuch as I cannot go out because of the wind, things 
indoors are wearisome. 

The hour is half-past eleven, and I am going to bed — 
satisfied with the day. 

March 2yd. — Rose at 7, and, the weather being beauti- 
ful, went shooting. Beat the rushes for an hour, and killed 
a brace of duck. Returned late for dinner, and took the 
meal at home. Afterwards Hilkovsky and Yanovich 
arrived to do gymnastics with me. I like Hilkovsky 
greatly, yet somehow he affects me in an unpleasant fashion 
— I find it awkward to look at him, just as it is awkward 
to look at people with whom I am in love. My certificate 
of enrolment has arrived. The gymnastics were poorly 
done — Hilkovsky putting me to shame, chiefly because 


I did them hurriedly. Afterwards, played two games of 
chess, enjoyed a wonderfully refreshing sleep until lo, and 
went out to supper. Alexeyev did not put in an appear- 
ance, for he had gone to Kizlyar, and for this reason it was 
not dull at supper. After supper accompanied my brother 
and Yanovich to Hilkovsky's ; thence home again. 
Nikolinka was in high spirits, and I confess that the 
sight of his gaiety irritated me, because his cheerfulness 
is not attractive, and is out of proportion. [[lo]]. 

This morning I felt undecided whether to work on 
Easter Day. It happened that, even had I wished to do 
so, I could not have worked yesterday ; I had not time 
even to post my diary and I am doing so to-day, the 24th, 
at 5 o'clock in the morning, because I have decided once 
for all that the major festivals must be days of rest. 

March 24th. — Rose at 7, entered yesterday's diary, 
drank some tea, and read and translated until 11 o'clock. 
At II went shooting on a cob which I borrowed of my 
brother. Alexeyev came to dinner ; he had just come home. 
It was very disagreeable to me that I was not in uniform, 
and felt as nervous as a boy lest Alexeyev should enter 
and reprimand me. After dinner attended drill and sword 
exercise, an absurd invention which I have come to loathe 
terribly. Received a letter from Serezha, and felt de- 
pressed on reading his opinions and advice — they reminded 
me so much of Tula. Did a little correction; then 
Yanovich came in, and fenced with me. My brother 
also came in, and we had a game of chess — then went to 
supper. It is after 12 o'clock, and I am going to bed . . . 
To-morrow will be a holiday, and I shall do only some 
correction, and spend the rest of the time as to-day, if 
nothing better should offer. 

The prayer: "Our Father"; "The Mother of God"; 
remember certain of the living and the dead. And then : 
O Lord, deliver me from vanity, sloth, lust, sickness, and 
spiritual disquietude. Lord, grant that I may live with- 
out sin or suffering, and die without despair or dread, but 
in faith, hope, and love. I submit myself to Thy will. 


O Mother of God, Guardian Angel, pray for me unto 
the Lord ! 

March 2yth, morning} — On the 25th rose at 7, read, and 
did some correction. At 11 went for a ride on the cob, 
and visited my brother. Met Hilkovsky, Yanovich, 
and Alexeyev. Had dinner. After dinner, a discussion 
arose on the difficulty of doing good. Again felt my 
toothache, for an abscess has formed on the gum, and 
it tortured me until 4 o'clock this morning. Yesterday 
my brother came to me, and, with the dear, absurd frank- 
ness native to him, said that twice he had been drunk. 
The pity of it ! I felt greatly disturbed, but refrained 
from expressing regret. Read the Otechestvenniya Zapiski 
for February. By -Paths ^ is excellent, but what a pity 
it is only an imitation. To-day will do some correcting, 
as well as, perhaps, some writing. 

March 2yth. Midnight.^ — Though not very well, did 
correction until 11 o'clock — albeit neither neatly nor care- 
fully. Had dinner, made notes, and continued my work 
as before. My brgther came in, and I read to him what I 
had v/ritten in Tiflis, He thought it not as good as 
formerly, while in my own opinion it is not good at all. I 
wanted to lighten my labours, but my copyists cannot copy, 
and I must work alone. In connection with an article by 
A. Dumas ^ on music, I remembered the store of pleasure 

^ First entry. — Ed. 

2 " A novel without a Plot," by D. V. Grigorovich, published 
in the Otechestvenniya Zapiski, Nos. 2 and 3, 1852. — Ed. 

3 Second entry. — Ed. 

* Alexander Dumas the Elder (i 803-1 870). . . . 

Concerning one of his best-known novels Tolstoy wrote to 
Mme. T. A. Ergolsky on December 9th, 1850, M. : "I have become a 
subscriber to Gotier's, and just been reading The End of Viscount 
Bragelonne, a novel concerning Louis XIV. and his age, by 
Alexander Dumas. It is a vapid, but very interesting, work ; 
also his latest novel, A Thousand and One Visions — such a col- 
lection of stupidities that its like does not exist." Not always, 
however, did Tolstoy speak so slightingly of this writer, for, 
later, in his Letters to his Wife, in criticizing another French writer, 
Michel Tissier (" how lacking in talent, how artificial it is "), he 
writes : " Along with him I have been reading Dumas-Pere's 


of which I am here deprived. Actuahty has dissipated in 
my imagination nearly all my dreams of happiness, save 
only the happiness of an artist which, though in very 
incomplete form, I experienced in the country during the 
year 1850. 

To-morrow I will redraft and copy out the letter to 
Serezha, and also consider the question of whether the 
second day can be corrected, or whether it must be aban- 
doned. Without scruple I must delete in it all passages 
obscure, proHx, or out of place — in short, unsatisfactory, 
even though they be good in themselves. 

Steadfastness and decision — these two qualities alone 
can secure success in any matter. Now I will go to bed. 
The time is 12.30. 

March 28th. 10.30 p.m. — All last night my teeth ached, 
and early in the morning NikoHnka arrived. I had not 
slept. We drank some tea ; then he went shooting, while 
I read awhile, and then resumed my writing. On the 
excuse of being unwell, however, I wrote little. True, I 
was weak, and persistent expectoration had set in ; yet 
this was only an excuse. Went to bed, and slept until 2 ; 
then read Anton-Goremyka} and chatted, and played chess, 
with B . . . (?),^ L. and Y., who had come in. My brother 

Silvandere. What a difference ! The latter is bold, light-hearted, 
clever, talented, restrained, and unpretentious. ..." The title of 
the novel is spelt Sylvandire. — Ed. 

^ See footnote, page 96. — Ed. 

2 " B." In later entries this person appears to be designated 
by the abbreviations " Bus.," " Busl." (if one can rely on the 
copyist), or should it read " Buy em." ? In referring to the lists 
of officers who served at that time in he 20th artillery brigade, 
according to Yanzhul's book, we find the names : N, A. Bussov 
and also N. E. Buyemsky (ensign) and Bulychev (no initials). 
Possibly one of these is the person often met with in subsequent 
entries. He is also mentioned in the entry for June 24th, 1852. 
{Vide footnote on p. 176 further on.) This assumption coincides 
with the entry for July 27, where it is stated that it was B.'s fete- 
day : according to the church calendar this is the feast of St 

In Yanzhul's descriptions of the history of the 20th brigade 
from 1851-53 " Ensign Buyemsky " is mentioned more than 
once. Therefore, it is reasonable to suppose it was this name. 


asked me to accompany him to Alexeyev's to eat haricot 
beans, but I rephed with some irritation it was a fooHsh 
thing to do. 

The box^ has been d^Hvered, and I regret to have to 
send it on to Sado. What folly ! I shall send it through 
B . . . I must be more on my guard against catarrh and 
laziness. Will copy out the letter to Serezha, and go 
to bed. 

March 2gth. — Rose at lo o'clock, and, though my teeth 
had not been aching, made weakness on my own part, 
and hindrance on B . . . 's, excuses for not immediately 
setting to work. At ii o'clock Nikolinka, L . . . , 
Y . . . , and Hilkovsky arrived, and hindered me. Did 
fencing pretty well. Two Nogays called. Have no need 
of a veterinary surgeon. Could not refuse 2 roubles to 
Abilez, though I can only let him have them to-morrow, 
and only i rouble at that, since I possess but 4. Dined, 
wrote a little ; then drove to the baths. More visitors 
looked in. 

For some time past I have been tormented with 
regret at having wasted the best years of my life. It 
dates from the time when I began to feel myself capable 

{Vide entry for Sept. 3, 1852, where the termination of the abbrevi- 
ated name coincides with our supposition). Bussov is not men- 
tioned in the body of the book at all. Yanzhul, however, says in 
a footnote to the list : " This list has been compiled in accordance 
with information which the Editor regards as incomplete and, in 
consequence, to our great regret the names of some officers who 
served at a more or less remote time may have been omitted" 
{vide also footnote on p. 212). — Ed. 

1 Musical box which Tolstoy ordered from Tula as a present 
for Sado 

In a letter from Tifiis dated Jan. 6, 1852, Tolstoy writes to 
Mme. T. A. Ergolsky : "I have received a letter from Nikolenka. 
. . . He wrote me : ' The other day Sado came to see me ; he had 
won your promissory notes from Knoring, and brought them to 
me. He was so glad of his winnings, so happy, and kept asking 
repeatedly, " What do you think ? Won't your brother be glad 
I have done this ? " that I was inspired with a great affection 
for him.' 

" Please get a six-chambered revolver purchased at Tula and 
send it to me, also a little musical-box, if this does not cost too 
much : they are things which will give him pleasure." — Ed. 


of doing something good. Interesting it would be to 
describe the course of my moral growth ; but neither 
words nor thoughts would be sufficient for the purpose. 

To great thoughts there are no boundaries : yet long 
ago writers reached the impassable boundary of the ex- 
pression of such thoughts. Played a game of chess, had 
supper, and now am going to bed. The pettiness of the 
life worries me. True, I feel this because I myself am 
petty ; but in me I have the capacity to despise myself 
and my life. There is something in me which forces 
me to believe that I was not born to be what other 
men are. Whence proceeds this ? From a want of 
agreement, an absence of harmony, among my faculties, 
or from the fact that in very truth I stand on a higher level 
than ordinary men ? I am grown to maturity, and the 
season of development is going, or gone, and I am tor- 
tured with a hunger . . . , not for fame — I have no desire 
for fame ; I despise it — but for acquiring great influence 
in the direction of the happiness and benefit of humanity. 

Shall I die with the wish a hopeless one ? There are 
certain thoughts which I do not voice even to myself. 
I value them so much that without them I should have 
nothing remaining. I wrote the story with zest, but now 
despise the effort and myself and all who will read the 
story. The only reason why I did not throw aside the 
labour was that I hoped to dispel weariness, to acquire 
a habit of toil, and to please Tatyana Alexandrovna. 
If there be in it a certain alloy of vanity of thought, it 
is an alloy so innocent as to be pardonable, and it confers 
advantage which lies in activity. 

I fear vanity so much, and so much despise it, that I 
do not expect the satisfaction of it to afford me pleasure. 
Yet this is all that I have to look to, since, otherwise, 
what would remain as a starting-point ? Love and 
friendship — involuntarily I take these two sentiments to 
be the infatuation, the illusion, of my youthful imagina- 
tion. And have they brought me happiness ? Or is it 
that I have been unfortunate ? Solely upon this hope 


rests any desire of mine to live and strive. If happi- 
ness and useful activity be possible, and I test them, I 
shall at least be in a position to put them to the best 
use. O Lord, have mercy upon me ! 

March ^oth. Easter Day. — I slept well, and rose late — 
at 10 o'clock. [[34]|. I must try to excite sensuality as 
little as possible. 

For the first time in three days went out, and paced the 
court till II. At II there came to see me all the officers, 
in a state of liquor ; and with them Bronevsky.^ There 
is nothing remarkable in the latter, but, as a new personage 
whom I felt to be directing upon me a tense scrutiny, he 
confused me. Dined meagrely at home, for no one came 
from Alexeyev's to invite me either to dinner or to 
supper. I go no more to Alexeyev's — whether for dinner 
or for supper. — Rode over to my brother's. With him 
was a company in a state of liquor. Also, went hare- 
hunting. Saw one only. Did gymnastics, drank tea, 
and repaired to my brother's, after learning from B . . . 
that everyone was by then disgracefully drunk. This 
turned out to be true, for I found the company engaged 
in hauling an old man into the hut. When drunk, L. 
is as stupid and absurd as when sober. As for my own 
youngster,^ he is young and amiable. He grasps my 
hands, and is ready to pour out his heart. Not yet 
has experience of drunkenness taught him to shun 
effeminacy, which is as unbearable in a drunken man as 
in a sober. Yet it is not as a regular thing that he culti- 
vates drunkenness. Nikolenka can hardly speak, and looks 
at me with eyes which seem to say : " Yes, I agree with 
you that this is abominable, and that I am to be pitied ; 
but I like it." Drunk, he is very like Arsenyev is when 

^ Bronevsky. In the copy stood the name Boronevsky. We 
assume it is a mistake made either by the copyist or the author. 
Having consulted Yanzhul's book we find the name Ensign I. N. 
Bronevsky in the Ust of of&cers of the 2nd mountain battery from 
1852-53.— Ed. 

2 Youngster. — the itaUcs are the author's. Here Tolstoy evi- 
dently means his eldest brother, Nik. Nik., as can be seen from 
what is stated further on. — Ed. 


drunk. In him Ermolov's^ prediction^ unfortunately, is 
being realized, though Ermolov forgot to add : "Or goes 
out of his mind." I think that I too shall go out of my 
mind — with dullness. I despise all passions and life, yet 
am for ever being drawn towards petty passions, and 
diverting myself with life. I cannot explain this save by 
habitude of infatuation and of life. Foolish habits. 

By luncheon time at about ii, or by sunset at 6, / must 
tire myself out. 

And, if I am not to grow lazy, I must work with greater 
zest. Am going to bed at 11.30. 

March 315^. — I awoke at 6, and aroused everyone else, 
but, not rising, through indolence, went to sleep again till 
9. Drank tea, and read for a while. Alexeyev called, 
and, until luncheon time, hindered me from working. 
Yet he was so civil that I was afraid to offend him, by 
refraining from going to his place for luncheon. Before the 
meal, roamed about a little. Am growing faint-hearted. 
/ must force myself to do bold things. 

Arrived at Alexeyev' s when everyone else had sat 
down to table, and my brother was in a pitiable condition. 
So much did it hurt me to look at him that I left as soon 
as the meal was over, and betook myself to my writing. 
Finished one chapter. Nikolinka arrived — still in the 
same condition. I went out shooting, and, later, learnt 

1 Alexis Petrovich Ermolov (i 779-1861), general of infantry, 
took part in many wars during the reign of Catherine II. and 
Alexander I. In 1870 he was appointed commander-in-chief in 
Georgia and commander of a corps in the Caucasus. By a series 
of successful military operations he added several large kingdoms 
of Trans-Caucasia to the Russian possessions. He displayed great 
capacity as an administrator of the country and increased its 
welfare by fostering trade, industry and education. In 1882 he 
fell into disfavour with Emperor Nicholas Pavlovich, and in 1827, 
having secured his discharge, he left the Caucasus and went into 
retirement. To the end of his life he was held in high esteem and 
veneration by the inhabitants of Moscow. Tolstoy's reference 
relates to a well-known saying of Ermolov's that " a Russian 
officer, after having served a few years in the Caucasian army, in- 
variably either drinks himself to death or marries a prostitute." 
(This is based on verbal tradition amongst old inhabitants of the 
Caucasus.) — Ed. 


from Balta that he had run amok on the parade ground. 
— It is a pity that he should not know how grieved I 
feel to see him drunk. I feel certain that, since drunken- 
ness affords him Httle pleasure, he would then refrain. 
Still more unpleasant to me are the criticism and the com- 
parison of men who are barely equal to him in worth. 
Yet men of the sort have the right to pity him. 

After shooting, and until supper time, I chatted with 
Balta, who told me the interesting and dramatic story of 
the Dzhemi family. A subject for a Caucasian tale. Went 
out to supper, but was late again, so proceeded to Yano- 
vich's, and thence home, where I read a little, though 
without zest or attention. Also, had some supper. Now, 
at 11.30, I am going to bed. ([12]]. Had I not been 
indolent, I should have been satisfied with the day. 
Dmitry ^ is drinking. If the same thing occurs to-morrow 
I shall flog him. Vanjmshka 2 is a lazy copyist. 

April 1st. — Again awoke after 7, but went to sleep, and 
slept till 10. Read the Sovremennik. Every item in it 
is poor. How strange to think that bad books should 
demonstrate to me my faults better than good ! Good 
books cause me to lose hope. Wrote a chapter on prayer? 
It progressed but indifferently. Vanyushka is a bad, lazy 
copyist. Nevertheless I have not lost all hope of accustom- 
ing him to it. Was foolish enough to go out to dinner, 
which wearied me unbearably. A. [?] is particularly 
reserved. After dinner found my brother awaiting me. 

1 Probably Tolstoy's military servant. — Ed. 

2 A serf belonging to the Tolstoys', of almost the same age as 
Tolstoy, whom the latter took with him to the Caucasus. In his 
Reminiscences of My Childhood Tolstoy says, " It was a very stupid 
idea of my aunt and guardian (P. I. Yushkov) to give each one 
of us a boy-serf so that he might afterwards be a devoted servant. 
Vanyusha was attached to Mitenka (my brother). . . . Mitenka 
often treated him badly, even flogged him, I believe. ... I 
remember his repentance to Vanyusha and his begging humbly 
to be forgiven. . . ." This was probably the Vanyusha whom 
Tolstoy took with him as a servant and as copyist of his rough 
manuscripts. — Ed. 

3 (The italics are the author's.) Vide chap. xii. of Childhood, 
" Grisha."— Ed. 


Played chess, and wrote. Next arrived a large company 
of people who wearied me to extinction. Went out to 
supper, and, instead of visiting my brother, to whose 
quarters the company had repaired, returned home. 
Wrote, wrote until I began to notice that discourse on 
prayer lays a claim to logicalness and depth of thought — 
though it is not consistent. Decided to conclude some- 
thing without rising from my seat, and straightway burnt 
half of it — shall not insert the rest into my story, but 
preserve it as a memento. 

([I3]l. People who regard things for the purpose of 
taking notes see things in a perverse light. I have ex- 
perienced this in my own case. Shall go to bed at half- 
past twelve, but, to-morrow, rise early. 

April 2nd. — Rose at 9, and both read and wrote. Only 
B . . . disturbed me, and that not much. Went out to 
luncheon. After luncheon, read ; then set Vanyushka 
to work, while promising him to settle his mother in Grum- 
mont.^ That much, at least, is his due. Went out shoot- 
ing, but saw nothing except a good-looking Cossack woman. 
Had supper. After supper wrote until the present moment, 
which is a quarter past one. The second day is very bad, 
I must work at it again. 

April 3rd. — Rose at 12, and had only just time to drink 
some tea before I was summoned to luncheon. In the 
absence of A. [?] things are not at all dull. Also, to-day 
I have been in good spirits. After luncheon Nikolinka 
arrived, and I proposed to read to him the i6th chapter, 
but he offended me with a cold response. Wrote a little, 

1 Grummont, a village in the neighbourhood of Yasnaya Polyana 
whose peasants belonged to the Tolstoys. The local peasants call 
this village the " Ugryumy Farm," In his Reminiscences of My 
Childhood, Tolstoy says : " Two miles from Yasnaya Polyana lies 
the village of Grumond (this name was given to the place by Tolstoy's 
grandfather, a former Governor of Archangel, where there is an 
island called Grumond). . . . There stood a cowshed and a little 
house built by my grandfather where he could put up for a time 
in the summer." In both cases Tolstoy makes a mistake in the 
spelling. It should be Grumant, the name given to the Spitzbergen 
group of islands by the natives of the sea-board. — Ed. 



then went for a ride, and visited Michael Snlimovsky. 
Made a shot which flattered rny self-esteem. Roamed 
the countryside, and returned to drink some tea. Sul- 
tanov and all the officers looked in. To-morrow shall go 
out shooting. Hilkovsky had some interesting tales to 
tell me concerning Cossack life at the front in Southern 
Siberia. After supper was simple-heartedly cheerful. With 
Van5mshka's help the work is progressing. I am less 
shy than I was. The first chapter, " The Verses," is 
written, but I have formed no opinion about it. Indeed, 
hesitating as to a decision, I should say that it is bad 
rather than good. Shall retire at 12.30, with the intention 
of rising at daybreak. 

April 4th. — After 7 o'clock I was awakened by Hilkovsky ; 
while soon others also arrived. The wind was so strong 
that we had to return with Hilkovsky. My brother has 
gone to Shelkovaya ^ with Sultanov. He is an enthusi- 
astic sportsman, though not a great one — a sportsman 
addicted to the external insignia and terms of sport, which 
he misuses. As I was going home I felt scared at first 
— am ashamed of the fact. 

Lunched at home. Read, slept for two hours, read 
again, and went for a walk round the stanitsa, with evil 
intentions. Energy is weakening, and passion growing 
stronger. Yet I have no permanent energy — only an 
energy which periodically awakens, and periodically grows 
feeble. What causes this energy to awaken and to decline ? 
My pursuits, or the men whom I see here, or physical 
causes ? I know not, though the point would be useful 
and interesting to know. Must dispense with some of my 
dogs. Will see to it to-morrow. I shall not give them 
to Pavlych. 

At supper met Baumgarten and Verzhbitsky.^ Instead 

1 Shelkovaya, Shelkovodnaya, or Shelkovodskaya Stanitsa, of 
the Terek province, on the river Terek. In 1735 a State silk 
factory was built there. Later, however, the silk industry declined 
and has only quite recently begun to revive. — Ed, 

2 Baumgarten and Anton Ignatyevich Verzhbitsky, later a 
colonel. " Verbitsky " stood in the copy. We are inclined to 


of being too shy, fell into the other extreme — talked too 
much. How foolish that the presence of even the most 
insignificant of individuals should be able to force me to 
alter. Above all, that I should notice this alteration my- 
self, and strive for it not to be so, yet be unable to help 
it. No doubt it will pass away of itself and is bound to 
bring me advantage. As I go to bed the hour is 11.50. 

April ^th. — Rose at 10, read till luncheon time, wrote a 
little, and went out shooting and to the haglo?- Read ; 
then went to supper. Alexeyev was so stupid that never 
again will I stir a foot to visit him. It is wearisome con- 
stantly to have to remettre him a sa place. One can do 
nothing with such a fool. Better have no deaUngs with 
him save those of service. 

[14]]. I have received a letter and 100 roubles from 
Tatyana Alexandrovna. With much effort and energy 
I may be able to atone for this escapade. Shall go to 
bed at 11. 15. To-morrow I will rise at daybreak, finish 
the first day, and revise it. 

April 6th. — Rose at 6, and am much pleased at the fact. 
Wrote until luncheon time, then lunched at home, and 
wrote again, though with little attention, owing to sleepi- 
ness. At 5 went for a ride to rouse myself, and returned 
after 6, to finish writing out the first day — though with- 
out sufficient care. The style would appear good, and 
the additions are not altogether bad. Yapishka is in the 
room with me. Shall Hsten to him awhile, then have 
supper, then go to bed. Am satisfied with the day. The 
hour is 10.55. 

April yth. no 'clock at night. — I awoke after 6, yet 
could not overcome laziness, and rose only at 9. Read 
over, and finally corrected, the first day. Feel convinced 

think it a slip of the pen of the copyist. We correct it according 
to Yanzhul's book, in whose pages mention is several times made 
of Second-Lieutenant A. I. Verzhbitsky. At one spot the name 
stands side by side with that of Second-Captain Baumgarten, 
4th battery, igth brigade, who had shortly before (in January, 1852) 
arrived from Vladikavkaz. — Ed. 

1 Probably an error for hagno — d. low, swampy spot. — Ed. 


that it is no good at all, for the style is too careless, and 
the work contains little thought to atone for the empti- 
ness of its contents. Nevertheless, I have decided to 
finish correcting the whole of Part I., and, to-morrow, to 
apply myself to the second day. Shall I dispatch the 
work ? I have not decided. Nikolenka's opinion must 
settle the matter. Am uneasy about him ; my soul is 
conscious of something oppressive, and of fear. Have a 
mind to begin upon a short Caucasian tale, but cannot 
allow myself to do so before I have finished the work 
in hand. — Will dine at home. Have been reading some 
splendid articles by Buff on on domestic animals. Neither 
his extraordinary command of detail nor the fullness of 
his exposition are in the slightest degree wearisome. 

At 6 went for a ride, and foolishly lost my temper with 
the dogs. Have been reading " The Old House " and 
" Journeys to the Aleutian Islands." ^ Fairly interesting, 
but badly written. 

April Sth. — Rose after 6, and read " The Old House." So 
fine was the weather that I went out into the fields, and 
rode about until 12. Dined ; then set to work to write, 
but did not feel in the right humour for it, so, after jotting 
down a couple of pages, threw them aside, and, until 
evening, read. Felt much disturbed about my brother. 
Eventually he appeared with a band of bawdy companions, 
who, with Yapishka, wearied me until after 11. On their 
departure, had supper, and now am going to bed. 

This morning I received a stupid, rude note from 

1 According to bibliographical inquiries we have made, the follow- 
ing descriptions of expeditions to the Aleutian Islands were known 
at the time : 

V. Borch. A Chronological History of the Discovery of the 
Aleutian Islands, or the heroic deeds of Russian Traders, supple- 
mented by a History of the Fur Trade. . . . Extracts from the journal 
of the voyage of Pilot Vasilyev to the Aleutian Islands in 1811-12. . . . 
Expedition to the Aleutian Islands by Captains Krennytsin and 
Levashov in 1764-69. Records of the Hydrographical Department 
of the Admiralty, 1852. 

It is possible that Tolstoy read one of these books, and probably 
the last-named, which had just been published, or some magazine 
article treating of expeditions. — Ed. 


Alexeyev concerning drill. He has at last decided to show 
me that it lies in his power to annoy me. This morning 
I translated a chapter of Sterne, and to-morrow shall 
interview Alexeyev, and discuss the subject of drill. — 
I long to go to the sea, but have no means of travelling, 
while also the work begun is not yet finished. 

April gth. — Rose after 6. Kneznedlev^ called, and I 
studied with him until 9 o'clock. From 9 until dinner- 
time did nothing, but rushed from spot to spot. Went 
to see my brother, who, having been reprimanded by 
Alexeyev for absence without leave, had decided to feign 
sickness and not go to see him. Am very glad of 
this, though such a thing ought not really to rejoice me, 
seeing that he affords me an excuse for laziness. After 
dinner did absolutely nothing — I did not even read. 
Rather, I tried to read Hume,^ but found him dull. Went 
out shooting. Met Tolydenka, and played truant from 
drill. Alexeyev causes me much annoyance. While 
out in the fields I remembered with irritation my fooUsh 
quarrels with Gilke and Novikov. Visited Nikolenka. 
Also there arrived Sulimovsky, L . . . , and Y . . . 
Returned home to read Hume. He is dull, but nothing 
else have I to read. — Passed Pokunka's, but, though I 
longed to enter, did not do so. Am sitting down to supper 
at a quarter to ten, and soon shall be going to bed. 

April 10th. — Rose after 7. Idled a little, and attended 
drill. Betook myself to my novel, but, after writing two 

^ Kneznedlev ? The Editor is not quite sure as to the spelling 
of this name. As we know, Tolstoy at that time took lessons in 
the Tartar language. K. was evidently his teacher. In Yanzhul's 
book we come across the name of a gunner " Knyaznedelov " as of 
one of the privates of the 4th battery who was rewarded for dis- 
tinguished service in actions during that year {vide p. 88). In 
putting these names side by side we admit the possibility of their 
relating to one and the same person : the name of a native may 
have been Russified in the military lists, as is frequently done. 
— Ed. 

2 David Hume, famous English philosopher and historian, 
author of An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, and 
History of England, which Tolstoy was reading at the time {vide 
entry for April 14, 1852, footnote on p. 151). — Ed, 


pages, came to a halt, in that there had occurred to me 
the idea that the second day cannot be made good in 
default of interest, and that the novel as a whole is like 
a play. I am not sorry ; to-morrow I shall cut out all 
that is superfluous. Dined at home, then went to sleep. 
On awaking, attended drill. Had a chat at home with 
Nikolenka ; then read. For no reason at all went to see 
Sulimovsky. Alexeyev as stupid as usual, according to 
what they say. When I next meet him I must try to 
show him that this is so. Retiring at 11.30. 

April nth. — Rose after 7, read some foolish stories in the 
BiUioteka dlya Chteniya, dined at home, read again, went 
to see Nikolinka, attended drill, and could not help smiling 
as I looked at Alexeyev' s self-satisfied figure. Nikolinka 
called, and I read to him. Was about to knock at K . . .'s 
door when, luckily, a passer-by disturbed me. Am not 
at all well — have haemorrhoids. [17]]. Have thought 
of changes which I must make in the story ; and if the 
depression and apathy v/hich I am experiencing to-day 
should disappear, I shall set about the work to-morrow. 
The hour is 10 o'clock. I will have supper, and go to 

April 12th. — Rose after 8 o'clock. Nikolinka called. 
Translated, wrote, dined, wrote again, went shooting, 
went to the baths, read, and, after 10, am going to bed. 
I think that Nikolinka is sorry for me, and regretting that 
he induced me to enter the Service. Whether it be well 
or ill that we are so secretive with one another I do not 
know. I am forming the evil habit of boring people with 
the reading of my story. Nikolinka is gone on a shoot- 
ing expedition. To-day I have felt better, but morally 
weak, and my concupiscence is strong. To-morrow I 
must write to Tatyana Alexandrovna, Zagoskin (?), and 
B . . . . (?). Am retiring to bed at 10.30. 

April i^th. — Rose after 6, wrote, and translated. [20]]. 

Decided to go to Kizlyar to consult a doctor, or to take 
a cure. Borrowed D. A.'s vehicle, added two saddle 
horses and the dogs, and set out after i o'clock. Presented 


myself to Alexeyev in uniform, with a request for short 
leave. Found his bearing absurd beyond description, 
but he let me go, and that is the main thing. 

Beat around Borozdinka, caught a hare, and returned 
to Borozdinka for the night — easier in mind. As I sit here 
at my window I am gazing from it as calmly and restfuUy 
as I did last spring at Moscow and Pirogovo. Such a mood 
is very pleasant, and causes me to regret that it cannot be 
permanent. Shall go to bed at 9.30. The landlady is 
good-looking, and her presence troubles me, for all my 

April i^th. — Awoke at 7, and went hunting, but caught 
nothing. At 12 proceeded to Kizlyar. Read, drank tea, 
and took a nap. Was awakened by the doctor. He is, 
so far as I can see, an ignoramus who tries to air his know- 
ledge, and is therefore rash and dangerous. Shall stay 
here till Sunday ; when, if not better, I shall begin a regular 
cure at Staroglad. in accordance with the prescriptions. 
To-morrow shall dismiss Dmitry. Bought some raisins, 
and have restarted the tenderness in my teeth. Took 
myself to task for it. Read Sterne, who is delightful. 

" If nature has so woven his ^ web of kindness that 
some threads of love and desire are entangled in the piece, 
must the whole piece be rent in drawing them out ? " ^ 

Am rather easier with regard to my illness. Read 
Histoire d'Angleterre,^ not without pleasure. I am begin- 
ning to like history, and to understand its usefulness. 
And this at the age of 24 ! Which demonstrates what 
a bad education can mean. But I fear that the mood 
will not last long. Am going to bed at 9 o'clock. 

April i^th. — Rose at 7, drank some tea, and went to 
the chemist's. Dismissed Dmitry. Read, took a walk 

1 " His " stands in the original. — Trans. 

2 A quotation from Sterne (copied by Tolstoy in the original 
English. — Trans.). Vide footnotes concerning him on p. 105. 

3 Histoire d'Angleterre, embracing the most ancient period of 
England ; obviously in a French translation. Tolstoy mentions 
the author further back. — Ed, 


to the Terek, dined, read, slept till 6, and wrote till i. 
Am going to bed. Health not good. To-morrow shall 
go for a walk. 

April i6th. — Rose at 9. Read The Eternal Jew} Ermak,^ 
and a tradition on the subject of Peter the Great. ^ There 
is a special pleasure in reading stupid books ; though it is 
a pleasure of an apathetical kind. Doctor called. He 
is a terrible chatterer and a man who understands 
nothing. But with luck, and provided that my complaint 
be not complicated, he may prove of help to me. Read 
with much pleasure, and finished, the first portion of 
Histoire d'Angleterre. Drank tea, and listened to a quarrel 
between T. V. and a German. The affair is in the highest 
degree touching and amusing, and I should like to describe 
it, for it has recalled to me one of the best days of my life, 
during the journey from Russia to the Caucasus. My 
recollections surprise me with their clearness. The reason 
must be that lately I have been in the right mood for 
observing. Have done some writing, but do not think 
it is good. Nevertheless it must be finished. Am going 
to bed at II o'clock. To-morrow must rise early, write 
some letters, write, and go to see the mad woman. 

April lyth. — Rose late, read till dinner-time, and, after 
dinner, till two o'clock, indulged in one and another folly. 
Wrote a new chapter, " The Ivins," * but it issued badly. 
The conversation of my landlord's guests hindered me 
from studying, though it interested me. The incident 
of the German is becoming more complicated, for they say 
that he had a daughter, and that hence her madness. My 
health is indifferent. The first day is being fair-copied. 

April 18th. — Rose at 9. Was waited upon by the 
amanuensis Alexeyev. He talked in a very amusing 

^ A novel by Eugene Sue. — Ed. 

* Beginning as the leader of a robber band, Ermak Timofeyevich 
became the leader of a Cossack detachment. In 1582 he conquered 
Siberia. — Ed. 

* In the 'seventies Tolstoy took a great interest in Peter's 
personality, and began to write a novel of the period, which he 
soon abandoned, being no longer enthusiastic about the work. — Ed. 

* Chap. xix. of Childhood, final version, — Ed. 


way of his service, and of the death sentence carried out by 
shooting. Doctor called. My health is by no means 
good. Went for a walk. Caught a starving Nogay, though 
possibly he is a rascal. Pasha and T. V. wept when 
parting with the little girls. I have come to love tears. 
I have decided that though the worst thing of all is to be 
unable to weep, and that to weep is good for one, it is 
better still to wish to weep, and to refrain. My indolence 
and apathy are terrible ! I am in bad health. Aleshka ^ 
should be flogged. 

April igth. — Rose at 9, read some rubbish of a sort, 
wrote a little, went out crow-shooting, dined, and read 
again (principally for the process of reading) . Wrote a long 
letter to Mitenka ^ in answer to one which I had received 
from him to-day. Wrote a little. A tooth continues 

^ Aleshka. Further back in the same entry Tolstoy speaks of 
Alexeyev, the clerk — evidently a military clerk — who must not be 
confused with Aleshka, a serf of the Tolstoys. In Count N. N. 
Tolstoy's notes, Shooting in the Caucasus, mention is made of this 
Aleshka, . , . Alexis is my one and only huntsman (he is my valet 
and cook and, in case of need, my coachman, tailor, and gun-smith 
too). And further on he mentions him along with Yapishka as 
a participator in many hunting expeditions. This man was 
apparentfy attached to N. N. before Tolstoy went to the 
Caucasus, — Ed. 

2 Count Dmitry Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1827-1857), Tolstoy's 
third brother, Tolstoy ^ives a touching description of him in his 
Reminiscences of My Childhood (written in 1903- 1906). We take 
from it a few lines in order to give briefly an idea of this original 
personality, less known to contemporary society than Tolstoy's 
other brothers. After recalling from stories told him that Mitenka 
was a very difficult child to deal with, Tolstoy writes as follows : 
" My real recollection of Mitenka begins with Kazan. . . . He 
never suffered from the customary vices of boyhood, but was always 
grave, thoughtful, pure, determined, and impulsive. Whatsoever 
he did, he did with all his might. ... It was at Kazan his peculi- 
arities began to stand out. He studied well and steadily, and was 
a facile writer of verse (I remember him making an excellent 
translation of Schiller's Der Juengling am Bache) (" The Youth 
at the Stream "), but he did not devote himself wholly to this 
pursuit. He associated little with ourselves, and was invariably 
quiet, sober, and introspective. . . . He grew up unnoticed, for 
he held little intercourse with his fellows, and, save in moments of 
anger, remained reticent and serious — a man who gazed with a 
stern, meditative look in his large hazel eyes. Also, he was tall, 
somewhat thin, and not over-strong, with long, large hands and 


to ache, but my health is neither good nor bad. — There 
exists a special class of wearisome people who are constantly 
fearing that others may forget to treat them with 
respect. The man who never fails to speak the truth 
will never be a chatterer. On receipt of a letter from a 
man for whom one has a liking, one wishes to know not 
so much what has happened to him as how he regards 
what has happened. Have been recalling the episodes of 
Estashev's garden,^ and regretting that I have not inserted 
them into my story. 

a rounded back. From the moment that he entered the University 
his peculiarities showed themselves. What led him so early to 
adopt the religious life I do not know ; but he did so in the first 
year of his university course. Naturally, his religious aspirations 
pointed to an ecclesiastical life, and to the latter he gave himself 
up, as to everything, whole-heartedly — he took to fasting, attending 
every church service, and maintaining a stern attitude towards 
both himself and life. In Mitenka there would seem to have 
existed the priceless trait which, I conjecture, existed in our mother, 
and which I know to exist in Nikolinka, and of which I myself am 
completely destitute : the trait of complete indifference to other 
people's opinions. After his (and my) departure from the Uni- 
versity I lost sight of him. I only know that until the age of 26 
he lived the same strict, temperate life — a life without know- 
ledge of wine, tobacco, or, above all, v/omen. Such a life con- 
stituted, in those days, a great rarity. ... It must have been 
during my stay in the Caucasus that there came over Mitenka 
an unlooked-for change. All of a sudden he took to drinking, 
smoking, squandering money, and running after women. How 
it came about I do not know, for at that time I never saw him. 
All that I know is that his tempter was an outwardly attractive, 
but absolutely immoral man, the youngest son of Islenev. He ran- 
somed the first woman, the prostitute Masha, with whom he became 
intimate, and took her to live with him. It was not, in my opinion, 
so much the unhealthy, evil life which he led for several months 
in Moscow that ruined his vigorous constitution, as the inward 
struggles of the prickings of conscience. Falling a prey to con- 
sumption, he departed to our country seat, and thence to one and 
another town, in search of a cure, until he became confined to his 
bed at Orel, where my last interview with him, after the campaign 
of Sevastopol, took place. . . . With a scarf tied round her head, 
the pock-marked Masha whom he had ransomed was with him, 
and she tended him throughout. At Orel I turned back. A few 
days later he had passed away." . . . We know that, later, Tolstoy 
described the death of his brother Dmitry — when describing the 
death of Nikolay Levin — in the novel Anna Karenin. — Ed. 

^ Possibly " Astashevsky Garden." Tolstoy told P. I. Biryukov 


April 20th. — Rose late, for I felt unwell. The doctor 
is not doing me any good — he is only lying. Tried a new 
means of cure — the means of sweating. Perspired tre- 
mendously, but grew no better ; though, after sweating, 
had some nice day-dreams. To-morrow shall go to the 
seaside — that is to say, if I am not worse. Have written 
a good deal. Going to bed at 12. 

April 21st. — Made preparations for an early start, but 
did not get away before 11. It was Perepelitsyn that 
delayed me. He invited me to his quarters to show me 
some of his finery, and ended by accompanying me, that 
he might acquire for an intimate, over and above his 
ordinary companions, a count.- — Dmitry has gone off. 
P. feels anxious, and we have parted company : of which 
fact I am very glad. Caught nothing. If the same should 
be the case to-morrow, I shall dispense with my borzois. 
I shot a hare. I seem to be beginning to like sport with a 
gun. Wrote ; though my writing appears to me poor. 
Whether, in going out to-day, I consulted my health I know 
not ; but at least I enjoyed myself so far as pleasure 
went, for I spent the whole day in the open air, and in 

Spring and time are passing away, but not so my ail- 
ments. Had I sufficient money, I would buy a property 
here, and feel certain that, in contrast to what has been 

that once, when he was nine or ten years old, and he and his brothers 
and a very pretty girl named Yuzenka — the daughter of their 
French governess (Koperwein) — were taking a walk along the 
Great Bronnaya in Moscow, they were struck with the beauty of 
a certain garden, and entered the gate. On their being descried 
by the owner, Astashev, he treated them, thanks to the comeliness 
of their companion, with the utmost civility, rowed them in a boat, 
and showed them everything that was worth seeing in the place. 
But when, encouraged by what they considered their success, the 
children entered the garden a second time, though without Yuzenka, 
and asked to be allowed to announce themselves, they received 
from the owner of the garden, through a servant, a reply that entry 
was forbidden to the unauthorized public. This incident Tolstoy 
related as an example of that unfairness on the part of adults which 
sows in the minds of children the seeds of doubt and disillusion- 
ment. Yuzenka figures in Childhood as " Katenka," the daughter 
of the governess Mi-mi. . . . — Ed. 


the case in Russia, I should succeed in the management 
of that property. 

Oreshinka Stanitsa. 

April 22nd, Port Shandrakovsky} — Rose very early, 
and, though I caught nothing, enjoyed a splendid morning. 
My dogs either run or they do not. Hence it is difficult 
to come to a decision about them. At Bolshaya Oreshevka 
had a talk with a peasant of intelligence. Hereabouts the 
peasantry are satisfied with their life conditions, but not 
with the Armenian Government. Had dinner and a rest ; 
then went shooting, as well as meditated on slavery. At 
my leisure I shall consider whether my thoughts on the 
subject could fill a pamphlet. The moment that I arrived 
at Shandrakovo I went, though darkness had fallen, to 
the seashore, where I mistook a swamp for the sea, and, 
with the help of my imagination, formed of the black 
swamp a most formidable and magnificent picture. 

On arriving at the port, drank some sea- water ; now, 
having drunk also some tea, am going to bed. [ii]. 

To-morrow, both early, and at noon, and in the even- 
ing, I am going down to the sea. It would be well if, on 
receiving any stirring impression, one were to grow used 
to it, saying to oneself before comingjto a decision, 
"Shall I not repent?" On sighting aihare to-day, I 
attempted to murmur, " I thank Thee, Lord ! " but 
failed. The hour is 10.45. 

April 2^rd. — Rose at 7. My health being by no means 
good, did not go out all day, but re-read the Histoire 
d'Angleterre, and watched some children. Tried to write, 
but was led by, in the first place, moral restlessness and, 
in the second place, the fact that the preceding chapter 
seemed very bad to accomplish nothing. After dinner 
and a three-hours' rest went down to the seashore to 
see a Tartar boat — I was wise not to let go of my 

^ It must be ' ' port Shandrukovsky, " on the shores of the Caspian, 
between the old and the new estuaries of the river Terek. — Ed. 



gun. Korsakiy hank, gruzilnaya, vataga, dlinnik, chalka, 

To-morrow I intend to spend the day at Kizlyar ; while, 
if my health should not improve, I shall remain there 
until I am well. [[5]]. 

April 24th. — Though faint, rose early, and set out for 
Kizlyar. En route lost Ulagin, and came to the conclu- 
sion that my dogs are no good. At Serebryakovka 
listened to a peasant's far-fetched, but pathetic, tale. It 
caused my eyes to fill with tears as he related how, after 
forty years, he had been to see his kinsfolk in Russia. 
*' I felt nothing," he said to me. " I was like a log of 
wood. Only my heart was fluttering like a pigeon. To 
see my mother clasp her hands, and hear her wail: 
' Up ! Get up ! Your little kukushechka ^ has come flying 
to see you ! ' Then a swoon hid everything from my 

Reached Kilzyar at 11 without incident. Felt vexed and 
morally depressed because my health remains the same. 
To-morrow I shall go home. [[10]. The hour is 11 o'clock. 

April 25th. Starogladkovskaya. — My health is exceed- 
ingly poor, and my teeth ache. Reached Starogladkovskaya 
at 2 o'clock, and now, at 11, am going to bed. 

April 26th. — Rose late, read all sorts of trash, and felt 
unwell all day, [3]]. M . . . ^ and other officers arrived. 

^ Local terms underlined by the author which signify : 

Korsaki, the Kirghizes, or Kaisacks, inhabiting the shores of 
the Caspian Sea. 

Bank, mihtary term signifying a low rampart or embankment. 
The Editor is not sure whether this word is correctly spelt in the 

Gruzilnaya, fishing with a lead (fisherman's term). 

Vataga, a band, gang, small herd. 

Dlinnik, a long, narrow strip of arable land ; mostly running 
lengthwise of the desyatin ; land of the area of a desyatin (the 
desyatin-'Z.^^) English acres. — Trans.). 

Chalka, a hawser or rope for the mooring of boats. 

Peretoka, a barren ewe. — Ed. 

2 Guckoo. — Trans. 

3 " M." In going through Yanzhul's book we meet with the 
name of Lieutenant Makalinsky, also of the 4th battery, in which 
Tolstoy's eldest brother, Count Nik. Nik. Tolstoy served as lieuten- 


All seem to be sulky with me, and of the fact I am 
glad. Time, ii o'clock. 

April 2yth. — Rose at lo [12]], and, all day, felt a terrible 
itching and weakness. In the morning received visits 
from the Nogay, a healer, and Yapishka. Should anyone 
not duly repay the Nogay healer for his trouble, sickness 
will come upon him which the latter will cure. Shaitan, 
treatment (?) with massage of limbs that have set ! The 
Nogay confirmed the opinion that most of the strange 
diseases and healings of the common people are explain- 
able by magnetism. Going to bed. It is after 11. 

April 2Sth. — [[15]]. Fever, ague, and diarrhoea accom- 
panied by blood and colic. Read Hume. Idled all day. 
Bed at 11. 

April 2gth. — Have not slept all night, and even yet — the 
time is after 3 o'clock — have not closed an eyelid. Drank 
some Alexandrian water, and decided, after taking a course 
of baths, to proceed as soon as possible to Pyatigorsk. 
[[5]j. The diarrhoea is gone, but my stomach is still greatly 

April soth. — Awoke at 10. [[5]]. Took a bath, and was 
poor-spirited enough to groan, to toss myself about, and 
to lose my temper. Am a little better, and, the hour 
being after 11, about to retire. I have but thirteen roubles, 
so must borrow. 

May 1st. — My health does not improve, and physically 
and morally I am weak. Going to bed. It is after 10. 

May gth. — My health is a trifle better, but I cannot 
yet eat. [[4]]. Am less weak than I was. Intend to pro- 
ceed to Pyatigorsk, as I have the order for post-horses. 
Nevertheless I have no money, and shall be forced to apply 
to Alexeyev for some. Have promised to take Begem. [?], 

ant. They are both mentioned in connection with the action of 
Feb. 17, 1852. Mention is also made in an earlier report, concerning 
the actions on Jan. 15 and 18, of the participation of " 5 guns of 
the 4th battery under command of lieutenant Makalinsky and 
second-lieutenant Sulimovsky and Ladyzhensky," under whose 
command, by the way, was Count Leo Tolstoy, gunner of the 
4th class. . . . — Ed. 


who has just arrived. During my illness there came about 
in me a moral change which has caused me absolutely to 
despise myself. Should I be able to win through to death 
without great sufferings or doubts, and as an honourable 
man should do, I shall desire nothing more. Retiring at i. 

May loth. — My health is recovering, but not so as to 
make it possible for me to depart. I think that that will 
be the case on Tuesday morning, if Alexeyev should 
advance me the money. Have a mind to give up reading. 
Aquiline noses drive me crazy. In them there seems to 
be the whole stock of strength of character and happiness 
in life. Am tortured by the thought that I have lost 
completely and^ seemingly, for ever my good spirits. Am 
weary of everyone, and everyone is weary of me — even 
Nikolenka. To-morrow shall apply myself to the continu- 
ing of Childhood, as well as, perhaps, to a new novel. Re- 
tiring to rest at 2 o'clock. From to-morrow onwards I 
will rise early. 

May 11th. — Rose early, but cannot get rid of my habit 
of reading. Wrote a little, and without conceit, and 
very easily. It struck me that, this year, my Hterary 
bent has resembled that of people (especially young ladies) 
who try to see in everything some special subtlety and 
intricacy. — After dinner slept long ; then read, and lost 
my temper with Van3mshka over the tarantas?- My 
health is, on the whole, almost good. To-morrow morning 
I intend to go to Alexeyev to ask him for money, and to 
get ready for a departure. Retiring to rest at i. 

May 12th. — Got ready to depart, and called upon 
Alexeyev, who was good enough not to refuse me the 
money. Dined with him. In general, spent the day in 
trying to kill time. After supper with the officers, went to 
see Sukhotin,2 and nearly played cards. How often must 

1 Light travelling carriage. — Trans. 

2 Alexander Mikhailovich Sukhotin, a landowner of Tula. 
Evidently he, too, served in the same 20th artillery brigade : 
his name (without the initials) appears in Yanzhul's book in the 
list of ofi&cers of this brigade. . . . Later, on July 24, 1852, Tolstoy 
posts another entry relating to Sukhotin, which undoubtedly re- 


I tell myself that idleness leads to nothing good — that 
one ought without fail to have employment ? Retiring 
to bed at 12. 

May i^th. [On the road.] ^ — Left after 6 o'clock. Made a 
good start, but lost my temper at the posting-house. Also, 
had to pay with terrible heartburn for last night's kaimak? 
No matter how ridiculous is B . . ., no sooner is one 
tete-d-tete with him^ than involuntarily one begins to take 
him seriously, and one feels vexed, and still more vexed 
for being vexed. . . . Shall go to bed at 11. 

May 14th. — Rose early, and have been feeling well. 
The tarantas broke down at Mozdok, and again I lost my 
temper. Went into the town, and gorged myself on 
raisins (a stupid proceeding !). Had a fairly interesting 
chat with B . . . One sensible thought occurred to me 
and I have since forgotten it. Am retiring at 10.15. 

May i^th, 16th. [Pyatigorsk.] — Have been travelling 
by night, so writing nothing. Nor, for that matter, has 
anjrthing out of the way happened or entered my mind, 
except that B ... is as amusing as ever, and I as dull, 
though less irritable. At Pyatigorsk music, and people 
promenading ; all these things, which used to seem to me 
senselessly attractive, produced upon me no impression 
whatever. The duties of a cadet, the dressing, the saluting 
for half an hour — these alone worried me immensely. I 
must not forget that my chief aim in coming hither is to 
effect a cure : wherefore to-morrow I must send for a 
doctor, and also hire a flat for one, and in a suburb. Re- 
tiring to rest at 9.15. During the past two days I have 
been intemperate, for I have drunk both beer and wine. 

May lyth, 1852. — A doctor has been to see me, and I have 

lates to another S. {Vide footnote on p. 88.) This " Sukh." (if 
our conjecture as to the abbreviation is correct) on whom Tolstoy 
" calls " on this day was evidently also living at Starogladkovskaya 
Stanitsa. — Ed. 

^ Tolstoy was posting from Starogladkovskaya to Pyatigorsk 
{vid Mozdok) to take the waters. — Ed. 

2 A dish of curds and clotted cream. — Ed. 


been to see the Commandant. I comported myself with 
him as with anyone — i.e. well ; j^et he received me 
chuflishly. The only thing which I have to reproach 
myself with is the fact that I accepted from Alexeyev a 
false commission. This has put me on a false footing. 
The flat, the weather, and my health alike are good. From 
to-morrow, Whit Sunday, I hope to enter upon a more 
regular mode of life. I began, and then tore up, A Letter 
from the Caucasus} which I must further consider. Re- 
tiring at II. 

May i8th. — Rose early, and worked at Childhood. I have 
become extremely weary of the work, yet mean to continue 
it. The doctor called. On Tuesday I am to begin baths. 
Visited the Alexandrian Gallery, and made a few pur- 
chases. Dined. After dinner had a very sweet and 
pleasant sleep of two and a half hours. Then took the 
waters. Saluting is an unpleasant process, and on 
many occasions it is also ridiculous. Have rewritten 
A Letter from the Caucasus, which now seems passable, 
though not good. It is my intention to continue (i) my 
studies, (2) my habit of work, and (3) my perfecting of 
style. Shall retire at 11. 

May igth. — Rose early, and took Elizabethan waters 
when I ought to have been taking Alexandrian. On re- 
turning home, wrote a chapter of Childhood which will 
pass muster. Went to the stanitsa, dined, slept, and took 
Alexandrian waters. Then returned home to do nothing 
else. Somehow I cannot write A Letter from the Cau- 
casus, though I have many ideas, of which some seem 
to be sensible. I cannot help being cross with B . . . ; 
he is too foolish, conceited, and young : he reminds me 
too much of what I was myself in past days. I am going 
to bed. It is after 11. 

May 20th. — Last night there struck me the brilliant 

1 Tolstoy began a series of military sketches under this title, 
which probably served, later on, as a basis for his Stories of Military 
Life. The letter is frequently alluded to in later entries ; and, 
subsequently, in his entries in October, he apparently calls the 
continuation of this work Caucasian Sketches, — Ed. 


idea that somehow I must put an end, one way or another, 
to my deaUngs with N . . . and G . . ., but act boldly. 
Success may be counted upon. At first I decided that 
on the first possible opportunity I would go and look up 
those persons ; but, after considering the matter further, 
I perceived that, in the first place, those dealings will 
bring me no harm, whether as regards myself or as regards 
other people, and, in the second place, that it will sufiice to 
have a talk with those persons when occasion shall offer 
— that to go and look for them is scarcely worth my 

Rose at 5, drank of the waters and some tea, read, 
and wrote a chapter of Childhood. Dined, slept, drank 
the waters, and worked, both well and ill, at A Letter 
from the Caucasus. I am becoming convinced that it 
is impossible, at least for me, to write without 
revision. I intend to re-read the History of England} 
and to study making extracts, and translating them. I 
have been writing too long, so I will go to bed, the horn- 
being I o'clock. 

May 21st. — Rose at 7, took the waters, went home, and 
wrote not so much lazily as carelessly. Went to get 
some tickets, and was foolish enough inwardly to lose 
my temper with an official for asking me to what corps 
I belonged. Wrote, dined, and explained matters with 
B ... as well as frightened him. He and I must 
part company, for he wearies me greatly. Took a nap 
in the garden, drank a dose of the waters and some tea, 
and wrote as carelessly as ever. To-morrow shall copy 
the same portion of the Letter from the Caucasus, then 
continue it. Retiring to bed. It is after 11. 

May 22nd. — Rose at 4.15, drank a dose of the waters, 
and took a bath. My head began to ache, and I felt very 
faint. Wrote nothing, but chatted with B . . . ^ on 

^ Vide footnotes on pp. 149 and 151. — Ed. 

8 " B " with whom Tolstoy conversed on mathematics, was 
evidently a young fellow officer who had gone with him to Pyati- 
gorsk, Is it perhaps Buyemsky ? {Vide pp. 139, 176, 212.) — Ed, 


mathematics, and explained to him Newton's binomial,^ 
which I myself had forgotten. Should like to repeat my 
mathematical course, were it not that I do not know 
whether I should now be capable of it. B . . . tries less 
to surpass me, and begins to listen more. Dined, slept, 
drank the waters, and fair-copied The Letter.^ Further 
thought will be needed for the second portion of the work. 
Re-read the chapter " Sorrow," ^ and, while so doing, 
wept from my very heart. There are fine passages in the 
chapter, but also some very poor ones. Am growing 
extremely careless of everything ; must exert pressure 
upon myself. Retiring to bed at ii. 

May 2yd. — The same mode of life. Feel, and am be- 
having, fairly well. I get on with B . . . Have been 
visited by Pyatkin, whom, for some reason or another, 
I was very pleased to see, and showed it. Have finished 
The Letter pretty well, and also written to Atd. [?] * con- 
cerning the book and the scheme.^ Childhood seems not 
wholly bad. Had I the patience to copy it out a fourth 
time, it might even end by being good. Going to bed at 


May 24th. — Rose at 4.30. The usual routine. Con- 
ducted myself well, both with D. and with some new 
acquaintances, B . . . , P . . . , and R . . . , who called 
during the evening. Wrote httle, but well. Oh, the charm 
of spring and restfulness and good health ! This evening 
I revelled in these blessings. Retiring to bed at 11.45. 

May 2$th, — Rose after 3, having awakened myself. 

1 In the Countess S. A. Tolstoy's copy stood the words : " Plato's 
banquet." We have every reason to assume that it should read 
" Newton's binomial," because in the following sentence mathe- 
matics are mentioned. — Ed. 

2 Chapter xxv. of the story Childhood. — Ed. 

3 Chapter xxvii. of the story Childhood, in which is described 
the impression produced on children by the death of their 
mother. — Ed. 

* Evidently this represents a word the copyist could not 
decipher. — Ed. 

^ A Scheme for the A dministration of Russia. Vide entries for 
Aug. 3 and ii, 1852. — Ed. 


Felt splendid. The same routine as usual. Wrote little, 
for the reason that I spent a long time in considering a 
mystical phrase of small significance which I wished to 
render eloquently. Wasted the whole morning thus, and 
am displeased. Paid P . . . a visit. Why do not only 
people whom I dislike and cannot respect, people of a 
different bent from my own, but also all people without 
exception, feel perceptibly embarrassed in my presence ? 
I must be a very difficult, unbearable person. Retiring to 
bed at 11.30. To-morrow letters to Pelageya Ilyinishna 
and Nikolenka. 

May 26th. — Rose at 6. Rain came on. Had a bath, 
then a dose of the waters. The doctor called. Afterwards 
I visited the A . . . [Alexandrian Gallery ?] . Am finish- 
ing the last chapter. Feel fairly well, but am beginning 
to ache a little in the legs and teeth. The Gallery is very 
amusing, what with the^gossip of officers, the showing off 
of dandies, and the acquaintanceships which one makes. 
Morally I am well. To-morrow shall conclude Childhood, 
write some letters, and begin a final revision. Going to 
bed at 11. 

May 2yth. — Rose at 4.30. The usual routine. In the 
morning finished Childhood, and for the rest of the day 
could do nothing. The beginning, which I have revised, 
is extremely poor. Yet I shall have it fair-copied, and 
dispatch it at once. Am sitting down to supper at 10.15, 
and shall go to bed directly afterwards. Wrote Nikolenka 
a cold and careless letter. 

May 28th. — Rose after 4, and pursued the usual routine. 
Could do nothing all day. Bulka ^ has been nearly killed, 
and the incident has so affected my nerves that I have 
been bleeding from the nose, though otherwise I am well. 
Am sitting down to supper. 2 and 11. 

May 2gth. — Rose after 4. Pursued the usual routine. 
Health not good, and throat sore. Have written nothing. 

1 Tolstoy's favourite hunting dog. Bulka was once nearly- 
killed by some convicts who went through the town killing all 
stray dogs ; Tolstoy describes this incident in one of the " Tales 
for Children " included in his Reader. — Ed, 


Am treating for a piano. Spent the whole morning seeing 
visions of the conquest of the Caucasus. Although I am 
aware that I should not assume airs concerning my 
ordinary pursuits, I cannot rid myself of the habit. All 
of us fail to value time save when little of it remains. 
We reckon upon it most when least of it lies before us. 
10.20. I am sitting down to supper. 

May ^oth. — The ordinary routine. Wrote a letter to 
Tatyana Alexandrovna which I have not dispatched, for 
I am dissatisfied therewith.^ Am doing nothing at all. 

^ Tolstoy evidently changed his mind about sending ofE this 
letter, or he may have written another, for on the same date. 
May 30th, he writes to Mme. T. A. Ergolsky the following letter, 
which is so interesting and so characteristic of Tolstoy's mode of 
life and of his mood at that period that we adduce it almost in toto 
(translated from the French) : 

" After returning from the expedition I spent two months with 
Nikolinka at Starogladovskaya, where we pursued our usual routine, 
the routine of hunting, reading, conversation, and chess. During 
this interval I made an excursion to the Caspian which I found most 
interesting and agreeable. Had I not ailed, indeed, I should have 
been satisfied with the two months. But after all, it is an iir-wind 
that blows nobody any good, for my complaint afforded me an 
excuse for going to Pyatigorsk for the summer ; whence now I am 
writing to you. I have been here two weeks, and am pursuing a 
regular, isolated routine which enables me to rest satisfied both with 
my health and with my conduct. Rising at 4, I go and drink the 
waters, and continue so until 6, when I take a bath, and return 
home. . . . 

" I spend hours in thinking of Yasnaya, and of the splendid 
times which I had there ; most of all, of the aunt whom daily I 
am coming to love more and more. The further such memories 
recede, the more do I love them, and the better am I learning to 
value them. 

" Since my journey and my sojourn in Tiflis my mode of life 
has undergone no change. I try to make as few acquaintances 
as possible, and to refrain from being intimate with the ac- 
quaintances who are mine already. For their part, they are 
accustomed to this, and have ceased to disturb me ; even though 
I am certain that they dub me proud and strange. 

" Yet it is not from pride that I behave so. It is a situation 
which has come about of itself. The difference between my up- 
bringing, sentiments, and views and those of the men whom I meet 
here is too great for me to find pleasure in their society. Only 
Nikolinka, despite the vast difference between him and these gentle- 
men, has the power to spend with them a pleasant time, and to be 
beloved of all. I envy him, but do not feel that I could do likewise. 


[4]]. Have I a talent to be compared with that of our 
modern Russian litterateurs ? Assuredly I have not. 
Am sitting down to supper at 10.30. 

May -^ist. — Rose early, drank the waters, bathed, drank 
some tea, and, until dinner-time, did nothing. Had no 
sleep, but wrote on valour. Ideas were good, but laziness 
and evil habit led me to leave the style rough. Again 
drank the waters, and remained in a cheerful frame of mind. 

" True, such a form of life is not calculated to bring one much 
pleasure ; yet not for a long time past have I given a thought to 
pleasure. Rather, my thoughts are concentrated upon how I 
may live in peace, and to my own satisfaction. Recently I formed 
a taste for reading history (as you know, this constituted the subject 
of a dispute between us ; but now I fully agree with you). My 
literary labours also are progressing a little, though I have not yet 
thought of having anything published. Three times I have recast 
a work which I began some time ago ; and now I am thinking of 
recasting it yet again, for my own satisfaction. This may be like 
the labours of Penelope ; yet the fact in no way repels me. From 
inclination I write, not from vanity. It is pleasant and bene- 
ficial to me to work ; so I work. . . . 

" Good-bye — au revoiv, dear aunt. A few months hence, should 
God not upset my plans, I hope to be with you, and to be showing 
you, by my solicitude and love, that I have, at least to a certain 
extent, deserved all that you have done for me. So vivid is your 
memory within me that, after writing this, I have been sitting several 
moments over the letter, and endeavouring to picture to myself 
the happy moment when I shall once more see you, and you will 
weep for joy at the sight of me, and I shall weep like a child as I 
kiss your hands. . . . 

" There was a time when I was proud of my intellect, and my 
position in the world, and my name ; but now I know, I feel, that, 
if there is anything good in me, if there is anything for which I 
may thank Providence, it is for the good heart — a heart responsive 
and capable of love — which Providence has given me, and has 
preserved intact. To that heart alone am I beholden for the best 
moments of my life, and for the fact that, though I lack pleasure 
and society, I am not only satisfied — I am also, frequently, happy. 

" Before long five months will have passed since first I entered 
the Service. Consequently, within a month's time I ought to be 
awarded promotion. Yet that another six months, or perhaps 
more, will have to elapse before I obtain the step I am well aware. 
With my hand on my heart, I regard this with complete indifference : 
the only thing that disturbs me is the prospect of a journey to 
Petersburg which I must take, but for which I have not the means. 
I recall your rule that one ought not to take thought for the future. 
The thing will be accomplished somehow. . . . 

" Pyatigorsk, May 30, 1852." . . . — Ed. 


An amanuensis arrived, to whom I handed, and read aloud, 
the first chapter. It is no good at all. To-morrow shall 
recast the second chapter, and, as I copy it out, revise the 

[[511. On arriving home alone, found my young land- 
lady in the kitchen, and said to her a few words. 
She is decidedly coquettish with me, and keeps tying 
bunches of flowers in front of the window, and tend- 
ing a swarm, and trolling ditties — endearments which 
are shattering my peace of mind. For the bashfulness 
with which God has dowered me I thank Him. It saves 
me from corruption. 

June 1st. — Rose at 4.30, drank the waters, had a bath, 
drank tea, read, and again did nothing until dinner-time. 
Chatted with B . . . about one trifle and another, and 
was f oohsh enough to read him a few chapters of Childhood. 
Can see that he is not pleased with them, though I do not 
assert that this is due to the fact that he cannot under- 
stand them, but to the fact that they are bad in themselves. 
The amanuensis has copied chapter I. fairly well, but all 
day have I been too lazy to prepare the next chapter. To- 
morrow, from morning onwards, I shall correct as many 
chapters as possible . . . Have not had a daylight sleep ; 
wherefore am going to bed at once, the hour being 9.10. 

June 2nd. — [[3]]. Did not take a bath, though I rose 
early. At 8 drank the waters, and, on returning home, 
read, received a visit from the doctor, corrected Childhood, 
set the amanuensis to work, and, above all, wasted my 
time with B . . . After dinner, experienced the old weak- 
ness, and could not refrain from eating three ices. In the 
evening read, reflected, drank the waters at home, and did 
nothing else. Childhood will contain grave faults, yet be 
bearable. What I think of it is that there are worse stories. 
However, I am not yet convinced that I lack talent. Yet 
I seem to possess neither patience nor habitude nor 
clarity. Also, there is nothing great in my style, or in 
my sentiments, or in my thoughts. As to the last, however, 
I have my doubts. Am going to bed at 9.10. 


June ^rd. — Rose early, drank the waters at home, and 
pursued my usual order of Hfe. At dinner ate too much. 
I do nothing : or, if I do anything, I do it badly. . . . [[2]]. 
Have a touch of fever. The doctor called, and chatted 
with B . . . Have paid the amanuensis 50 copecks, and 
therefore there seems to be small hope of him. 

I remark in myself a sign of old age. I am con- 
scious of, regret my ignorance, and my heart utters 
a phrase which I have frequently heard uttered by 
elderly folk, a phrase v/hich has never failed to surprise 
me : " I am sorry that I neglected my studies ; but now 
it is too late." To know that my mind is not formed, that 
it is inexact and weak (albeit supple), that my sentiments 
lack constancy or strength, and that my will is so waver- 
ing that the least circumstance can cause all my good 
intentions to come to nought is a fact which grieves me. 
Also, it grieves me to know and to feel that in me there are, 
or have been, the germs of these qualities, and that their 
growth alone has been lacking. How long I have striven to 
educate myself ! Yet have I made any improvement to 
speak of ? I could almost despair, yet hope and count 
upon chance — at times, upon Providence. I hope that 
something will yet arouse in me energy, and that not for 
ever shall I let noble, lofty dreams of fame, usefulness and 
love stick fast in a dull slough of petty, aimless hfe. Am 
going to bed at 9.10. 

June 4fh. — The usual routine. Worked at A Letter from 
the Caucasus — worked little, but well. Also, feel well. 
There was a time when I was too much given to generaliza- 
tion, and, later, to minutiae ; but now, if I have not found 
the mean, at least I understand the necessity of it, and 
wish to discover that mean. Read The Hours of Devotion 
in a translation from the German which once I should 
have read either carelessly or with ^ interest or with a 
sneer, but which, now, affected me. 
The work confirms my ideas as to the methods of setting 

1 Thus in the copy. Perhaps it should read " or without " 
and not " or with." — Ed. 


my affairs right and putting an end to quarrels. Hence I 
have firmly decided to return as soon as possible to Russia, 
and, coute que coute} to sell a portion of my property 
there, to pay off my debts, and to put an end, peacefully 
and without vanity, to the many unpleasantnesses which 
I have brought about, and to endeavour by kindhness, 
modesty, and a charitable outlook upon humanity to sup- 
press my self-conceit. This may prove the best means 
of ridding myself of my inability to associate with my 
fellow men. Am going to bed at 12.40. The cop3^st has 
kept me up. One is drunk, and the other does not know 
how to write. It is most unfortunate. 

June $th. — One day Gorchakov said to me : " This is 
the idea which occurs to me in connection with Barya- 
tinsky [?], and shatters all my dreams concerning family 
happiness. So brilliant in almost every respect is this 
man, and so many external qualities superior to mine 
does he possess, that I cannot but suppose that my wife 
may, or might, prefer him to myself : which supposition 
has sufficed to rob me of the peace and contentment, still 
more, of the self-assurance and pride, which constitute 
the indispensable attributes of love between married 
folk."-" At the time I said something unconvincing, but 
now there has struck me the following idea : '' Even if 
Baryatinsky did possess every attribute superior to this 
man, or even if there could be found a man so combining 
all merits within himself that Gorchakov could not possess 
a single attribute superior to him (a thing difficult to 
suppose, seeing that, for the most part, one merit develops 
at the expense of another — external qualities develop at 
the expense of inward) ; even if we were to admit this 
supposition, the fact would in no way prevent the possi- 
bility of love and preference being felt for the individual 
who was inferior in point of merits. That, in a forest, one 
cannot find any two leaves precisely identical is well 
known : and that difference we recognize not by measur- 
ing the leaves, but by observing certain intangible features 
^ Be the cost what it may. — Ed, 


which leap to the eye. The difference between any two 
human beings, which are beings of a more comphcated 
species, is still greater, and we recognize it in the same 
way, through a faculty of combining into a single present- 
ment all its features, moral and physical. This faculty 
constitutes the basis of love. And sometimes there is 
compounded from a combination of demerits an elusive, 
yet charming, character which can actually inspire love 
in a given person. 

Rose at 6, drank the waters, read and corrected A Letter 
from the Caucasus, wrote to it a small addition, though 
poorly, dined, enjoyed an after-dinner nap, drank the 
waters, and chatted quite sensibly with B . . ., both on 
the qualities necessary for domestic happiness and on 
vanity. — Weather bad, but health good. Am going to 
bed at 10.30. 

June 6th. — Rose at 5, and at once set to work to copy. 
Drank the waters at home, and worked industriously 
until dinner-time, as well as from 5.30 onwards. Drank the 
waters, and thereafter remained careless, healthy, cheerful 
and free from vanity. Returned home, sang, danced 
about, and ended by chatting with B . . . until 10, and 
wasting, for nothing, both my good spirits and my time. 
Am sitting down to supper at 10 o'clock. 

Jtme yth. — Rose at 5.30, took a bath, drank the waters, 
remained well and easy, did revision and fair-copying 
until 6, drank the waters, and read the April Sovremennik, 
which is poor in the extreme. Feel full of pride, I know 
not why. However, am satisfied with myself from the 
moral standpoint. [[22]]. Am going to bed at 10. 

June 8th. — The usual routine. After tea went for a 
ride. I have lost the desire for fair-copjdng and to-day 
have written very little. In fact, have done nothing save 
one sheet of manuscript, and the April Sovremennik, which 
I have read throughout. 

|[i6]]. To-day feel dull. Going to bed after 9. 

June gth. — The usual routine, save that after dinner I 
slept, and that now [[2]] I have toothache and fever. 


Vanyushka has the same. But I must not be downcast. 
Going to bed at ii. 

June loth. — Going to bed at 12. All day have had fever. 
Vanyushka and Bulka have had the same. Though 
Iv. Mois. is a poor copyist, he is at least obHging. 

June 11th. — Am better. Rose at 8, despite weakness 
and perspiration, and did writing and correction. Dined, 
and read Hume's History — Charles I. History is the best 
expression of philosophy . Am going to bed after 10. Satis- 
fied with myself. 

June 12th. — Rose at 7, cleaned my room, and saw to 
the kitchen and Vanyushka. He is very poorly, poor 
fellow ! Did a little revision. At dinner was fooHsh 
enough to lose my temper with B . . . Am, morally, 
so pleased with myself that I cannot find fault with my 
laziness, though for a long time past I have written 
nothing. Received letters from Audrey and Koloshin. 
A. [?] is afraid of me, and therefore seeking to conciHate 
me with pit-digging. K . . . has not mended his ways, 
but I find his letter agreeable, and will answer it at once. 
10 o'clock. 

June 13th. — Rose at 7.30. My health is good. Yester- 
day wrote Koloshin a malicious, but clever, epistle. To- 
day have concluded it with a fooUsh, but kindly, postscript. 
The doctor called, and I invited myself to his place. In- 
tend to go. Wrote little. Between the landlady and 
myself there exists too great a friendship. I drift into 
everything and in everything I am vain. There was a 
time when I used to be vain of my riches and my name ; 
but now it is of the kindliness and the simplicity of my 
manners. Iv. M. has a bad smell, and is also, according 
to the landlady, a drunkard. I intend, to-morrow, to 
revise the chapters of Part I. which he has not fair-copied. 
Have written enough, and am going to bed after 11. 

June 14th. — Rose after 9, and did nothing all day save 
read. Dismissed Iv. Mois. Perhaps he was a man with- 
out a passport ? To-morrow will ascertain this. Going 
to bed after 10. Went for a walk, and noticed myself 


to be growing very weak. To-morrow will rise after 4, 
take a bath, and spend the morning in working at Child- 
hood ; the evening in something new. 

June i^th. — In spite of the wind, took a bath. Did 
some writing. Concluded Part II., read it over, and, 
though, again, much dissatisfied, will continue it. Did 
not write after dinner. Bought a cap, Turkish delight, 
and some matches — all unnecessary. Made no inquiries 
about the passport. Will ask about it to-morrow, and 
have a talk with the landlady about my board. Going 
to bed at 5 minutes to 11. 

June 16th. — Rose early, and visited the baths, but some- 
how found it irksome to look upon decent folk. There 
keeps entering my head the idea that I too have been 
one. Stupid conceit ! As a matter of fact, am better 
behaved than ever I was. Spent the day immoderately. 
Gorged myself upon Turkish delight, ices, and other 
rubbish. Vanyusha is very poorly. Will get another 
doctor for him. Have said nothing about the passport 
or the landlady's bill. Went for a walk. At 11 am going 
to bed. Have continued, with considerable abridgements, 
Part I. Will finish it somehow. 

June lyth, — Rose at 8, drank the waters, and deceived 
a soldier. Met Eremeyev, and was greatly delighted. 
Spent the morning in reading. Both in form and contents 
the history of Charles I. is much superior to Thiers' 
history of Louis XVI. Have done little copying, and 
that badly. Dined, read, drank the waters, chatted 
trifles with a hussar and R . . ., and lost my temper with 
B . . . He writes to me, but is not much to be relied 
upon. Wrote, in careless fashion, two pages of A Letter 
from the Caucasus. Fair-copied. Going to bed at 11.30. 

June 18th and igth. — Rose late on both these days. 
Set to work with Van3msha, but carelessly. Promised 
the landlady her rent, and, though a foolish thing to do, 
paid it her. Asked no questions about the passport. 
Feel dull, and keep thinking of E . . . — also a fooHsh 
thing to do. Hitherto have committed no follies in this 


place. It will be the first town whence I shall bear away 
with me no repentance. I will not, therefore, blame 
myself for any petty weaknesses, for any want of modera- 
tion. Fair-copied little, but B . . . took it up in earnest. 
Going to bed at ii. 

June 20th. — Rose at 8, drank the waters, and wrote. 
Added a description of the reaping,^ passably well. Van- 
yusha is still poorly. D. has been here, but I missed him. 
He brought the Sovvemennik, which contains a story by 
M. M., " The Lacemaker " ^ — excellent, especially in its 
purity of Russian — the word flower-hud. Paid a visit 
to the Boulevard, and behaved well, save that I mistook 
some gentleman for E . . . , and turned aside. Last 
night I received a nice letter from Nikolenka, but the news 
concerning Sado struck me unpleasantly, as does every- 
thing reminding me of my follies and the debts which 
have proceeded thence. — From Valerian ^ a letter ; he is 
resigning the management of Yasnaya, and rightly so, 
and he is separating from Masha, who is wonderfully 
good. Will answer it to-morrow. B . . . and his 
cop5dngs hinder me from working. At the same time, I 
am lazy myself. Going to bed at lo. 

June 2ist. — Rose early, bathed, drank the waters, and 
wrote. Save that I could not refrain from telling B . . . 
that he is a fool, behaved myself well. After dinner did 
a little work, and at the springs chattered with all and 
sundry, and lied without cause when I said I had been 
a student of the School of Jurisprudence. This so upset 
me that aimlessly, like a madman, I set to work to parade 
the Boulevard. At home employed myself by setting my 
accounts and linen in order. Three roubles have dis- 

^ In the story Childhood, chap. vii. — Ed, 

2 A story by Mich. Illar. Mikhailov (1826-1865). . . . Its author 
is a well-known poet and translator of the best European poets. 
He was condemned at a political trial, and after undergoing a 
long term of imprisonment, was sent to hard labour in the mines, 
where he died. — Ed. 

3 Tolstoy had evidently received news of the family quarrel 
between his sister Maria Nikolayevna and her husband, which soon 
terminated in a complete separation. — Ed. 


appeared. The landlady blames I v. Mois., but I warmly 
defend him. Masha has had a talk with me, and, through 
a little girl, has sent me two roses. She no longer pleases 
me, but I am restless because I am a man, and because 
she is a woman, and we live in the same court. Have just 
read an expression, " To contribute one's mite." 

Spent the evening very pleasantly. Much that was 
good, yet obscure, has passed through my thoughts and 
imagination. Going to bed at 10.30. 

June 22nd. — Rose early, drank the waters, and took 
a bath. Notice that conversation is beginning to have 
for me a great charm — even stupid conversation. Had 
a chat with Gus — on,^ Venevit. (P),^ and the civilian to 
whom I told a lie yesterday. Wrote a fairly good chapter, 
" Games," ^ invited myself to Drozdov's, dined, slept, 
drank the waters, and visited Erem. and others. Was 
shy, but well-behaved. Satisfied with myself. Am 
beginning to feel the necessity and desirability of fair- 
copying Childhood a third time. It may then issue good. 
Madame Drozdov must be a bad-tempered woman, and 
it is amusing to see how she dreads being taken for a 
provincial. Also Erem. is as stupid, as insipid, as always 
he has been. Was amused because he said that he knew 
Mosk. V. Ch. (G. ?) and others, and that these gentlemen 
here have outplayed him, and that he had no money of 
his own and a foolish wife. How could I have envied 
him ? — Zinaida is going to marry Tiele.^ The fact vexes 

* Gus — on, the first letters, illegibly-written, of a s^?"name abbrevi- 
ated in the copy ; it may be " Tsez-an," i.e. Tsezar-Grossman. 
{Vide Yanzhul.) — Ed. 

2 In accordance with the sense of the sentence he was undoubtedly 
an officer ; but on going through the list of officers of the 20th 
brigade (in Yanzhul's book) we find no name resembling this. 
There are similar names : Vedeniktov and Venevtsov, hence we 
may assume it is a mistake made by the person who copied the 
Diary. — Ed. 

^ In the story Childhood, chap. viii. — Ed, 

4 Nikolay Vasilyevich Tiele, son of Vasily Leontyevich Tiele, 
inspector attached to a board of health . . . Obiit i8g^. {ReZ.M. 
Molostvov, vide footnote on pp. 106-109). — Ed. 


me ; the more so because I have felt so Httle perturbed. 
Have written too long. Going to bed at 12. 

June 2^rd. — Rose at 6, drank the waters, and wrote 
nothing. The doctor called. Vanyusha is poorly. Wrote 
a letter to Valerian. B . . . has written me. After 
dinner slept, drank the waters, indulged in pleasant dreams, 
read Hours of Devotion, and am going to bed. Met L., 
with Madame Eremeyev, and remarked in myself, on this 
occasion, a considerable amount of conceit. B . . . 
hinders me, but I have had many good thoughts. Going 
to bed at 11.30. 

June 24th. — At I o'clock in the morning was awakened 
by B . . . and shouts from a neighbour. An old man 
had been wounded. Bore myself weakly and unthinkingly, 
yet not without propriety. Consumed Turkish delight, 
but did not go to sleep until daylight. Drank the 
waters, took a bath, drank tea, and read. The doctor 
called. Also, took some tickets, sat awhile with B . . ., 
obtained some books, and began to read the Confessions} 
which, unfortunately, I cannot help criticizing. Dined, 
slept till 6.30, and drank the waters and some tea. Wrote 
a letter to Serezha,^ passably well, and am going to bed at 

^ Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau {vide footnote on p. 
176).— Ed. 

2 This letter of Tolstoy's to his brother Sergey Nikolayevich 
is published in P. I. Biryukov's Life of Tolstoy (vol., i. pp. 215-216). 
In this letter he gives characteristic details of the life at Pyatigorsk, 
from which we adduce a few passages : 

" What shall I tell you about my life ? . . . I should like to 
describe to you the spirit of Pyatigorsk, but it is as difficult as it 
is to tell a stranger what Tula is . . . Pyatigorsk is also something 
of a Tula, but of a special kind — the Caucasian ; for intance, here 
the chief feature is some resident families and public places. Society 
consists of landowners (this is the technical term for all visitors) 
who look down upon the local civilization, and of officers, who look 
upon the local pleasures as the height of bliss. . . . There 
is a theatre and a club ; every year marriages, duels take place 
... in a word, it is quite a Parisian life. . . , The officers pretend 
they have come for treatment only, so they limp on crutches, 
wear slings and bandages, carouse, and tell stories about the 
Circassians. But at headquarters they will again relate how they 
were acquainted with resident families and had a glorious time." 
— Ed. 


12.45. Read over to B . . . ^ what I had written about 
him, and, driven frantic, he rushed from the room. 

June 2^th. — Rose at 6, drank the waters, and lost my 
temper because a Guards' officer meddled with Bulka. 
Also, a veteran officer entered into conversation with me, 
and inquired whether I did not '^ belong to the number of 
unfortunates." ^ Also, he put into my head the idea that I 
must order an artillery programme and books. Until dinner 
time did poor writing, and, after dinner, had a touch of 
toothache, and wrote worse than before. Drank the 
waters, took a bath, and suffered terribly from toothache, 
though now it is easier. Going to bed at 9.30. Vanyushka 
is better. B ... is greatly upset, and I regret having 
so gratuitously and painfully offended him. At his age, 
and with his disposition, one could not have struck him a 
heavier blow. 

June 26th. — All night did not sleep for toothache. This 
morning felt poorly all over, and had a scare. Received 
from Tatyana Alexandrovna a letter which grieved me. 
Drafted two myself — to her, and to Serezha. Also, must 
write to B . . . (?), to Nikolinka, and one on the subject 
of the programmes. Indulged in dreams concerning the 
question of my return to Russia. Fancies of this kind are 
not so delightful as they used to be. 

June 2yth. — Rose at 8, my health being better. Wrote 
letters to Alexeyev and Islavin (passably well), and sent 
off those to my aunt and Serezha. To-morrow must 
write to Aunt Yushkov and B . . . Read Hume, wrote 
to B . . . (?) and read Rousseau.^ Had some good 

1 It is possible that Tolstoy read to a comrade a fragment of 
his story Incursion which he was then writing, and in which is 
depicted Alanin, a naiive young ensign, who probably had traits 
in common with " B " {vide footnotes on pp. 139 and 212). — Ed. 

2 That is to say, whether Tolstoy had not been deported to the 
Caucasus for some crime, — Trans. 

^ Jean Jacques Rousseau (i7i2-i778),acelebrated French thinker. 
. . . Amongst his works are : Confessions and Emile (on educa- 
tion) ; the latter includes " Profession de Foi du Vicaire Savoyard." 
In his early youth Tolstoy was powerfully impressed by Rousseau, 
who left deep traces on his soul, and he often mentions and quotes 


thoughts, all of which have escaped me. Was paid a visit 
by B . . . Learnt how to cut pens. Petite partie d'un 
grand tout dont les homes nous echappent, et que son auteur 
livre a nos folles disputes ; nous sommes assez vains pour 
vouloir decider ce qu'est ce tout en lui-meme, et ce que nous 
sommes par rapport a lui?- Going to bed at 

June 2%th. — Rose at 8, did much and good copying, 
drank the waters, went for a walk, and foolishly squandered 
30 kopecks. Received a visit from Tsvilenyev,^ who has 
been degraded. He asked for money, but I did not give 
him any, though! promised it, and will give him the same. 
Wrote to Aunt Pelageya Ilynishna.^ Going to bed at 20 
minutes to 12. 

June 2^th. — Rose at 9, and was visited by the doctor. 
He is sending me to Zheleznovodsk. Copied latest 
chapters, dined, wrote, drank the waters, took a bath, 
and returned home very languid. Read Profession de Foi 
du Vicaire Savoyard.^ It is full of contradictions, of obscure, 

him in the pages of his Diary. For many years he wore round his 
neck a locket containing the portrait of his favourite thinker. 
In later years Tolstoy wrote as follows to Bouvier of the French 
" Societe de Rousseau " (March 17, 1905) : 

" Rousseau has been my teacher since I was 15 years old. 

" Rousseau and the Gospels have been the two greatest and 
most beneficent influences in my life. 

" Rousseau does not grow old. Quite recently I had occasion 
to read some of his works and I experienced the same feeling of 
spiritual exhaltation and rapture as I experienced in my youth." 
— Ed, 

1 " A portion of the great Whole of which the limits escape 
us, and which its creator abandons to our insane disputes : we are 
sufficiently vain to attempt to decide what this whole is per se, 
and what we are in relation to it." — From Jean Jacques Rousseau's 
Profession de Foi du Vicaire Savoyard. — Trans. 

* At that time there were two Tsvilenyevs : (i) Kondraty 
Kuzmich (i 806-1 880), who died as lieutenant-colonel in the reserve, 
and (2) Alexander Ivanovich (181 7- 187 8), a captain. We were 
unable to secure more exact and detailed information. — Ed. 

^ Pelageya Ilynishna Yushkov (sister of Tolstoy's father), the 
second guardian of Tolstoy, his brothers and sister {vide footnote 
on p. 79). — Ed. 

* Profession de Foi du Vicaire Savoyard, by J. J, Rousseau. 
In later years Tolstoy comf)letely changed his opinion of this book 
and re-read it times and again with pleasure (in the French original). 



abstract passages, and of exceptional beauty. The main 
point that I have borrowed thence is conviction of the 
non-immortahty of the soul. If for the idea of immor- 
tality there is required the idea of recollection of a former 
existence, we are not immortal. But my intellect refuses 
to comprehend endlessness at one end. Someone has said 
that the sign of truth is clarity. One may dispute this, 
yet clarity remains the best token, and thereby one must 
always verify one's opinions. Conscience is our best and 
most reliable guide. But where are the signs which dis- 
tinguish it as a voice from other voices ? For vanity 
speaks with equal force ; an example is an injury which 
remains unavenged. The man whose aim is the happiness 
of himself is a bad man ; he whose aim is the opinion of 
others is weak ; he whose aim is the happiness of others 
is virtuous ; and he whose aim is God is great. But does 
the man whose aim is God find happiness therein ? 
Rubbish ! Yet I thought these such fine thoughts ! I 
believe in goodness, and love it ; but what points me to 
it I do not know. Is not absence of personal advantage 
a sign of goodness ? On the other hand, I love goodness 
because it is agreeable. Hence it is useful. And that 
which is useful for me is useful for something else, and good 
merely because it is good and in conformity with myself. 

This, then, is the token which distinguishes the voice 
of conscience from other voices. But does this subtle 
distinction of what is good and useful (to what place shall 
I allocate the agreeable ?) hold within itself the token of 
truth — clarity ? No. It is better to do good unawares — 
how can I know it ? — and to pay it no heed. Involuntarily 
one concludes that the highest wisdom is knowledge that 
wisdom has no existence. 

That is bad for me which is bad for others ; that is good 
for me which is good for others. Thus does conscience 
always speak. Desire or action ? Conscience reproaches 

According to tales of those near and dear to him (his daughter- 
in-law, O. K. Tolstoy), " in 1909, when Tolstoy read this book 
aloud in his family circle, he shed tears of emotion." — Ed. 


me for actions committed with good intention, but attended 
by evil consequences. The aim of life is goodness. It is 
a sentiment inherent in our soul. The means of good living 
is knowledge of good and evil. 

But will one's whole life suffice for this ? And if one 
consecrates one's whole Ufe thereto, may one not be erring, 
involuntarily doing evil ? 

We are good only when the whole of our forces are constantly 
directed towards this aim. It is possible to do good without 
full knowledge of what is good or evil. 

Which is the immediate aim, however — study or action ? 
And is absence of evil good ? Both inclination and fate 
point out the road which we must choose : but always must 
we labour with the aim of attainment of goodness. Is, then, 
every diversion, every pleasure which brings no advantage 
to others an evil ? I do not find conscience reproach 
me with such things, but, on the contrary, commend 
me for them. Hence the voice is not the voice of con- 
science. Early or late, conscience reproaches me for every 
moment not utilized to advantage (yes, even if no harm 
be done). 

Variety of labour is pleasure. Going to bed at 10.45. 

June 30^/j. — Rose at 8, took a bath, drank the waters 
indoors, reflected, and dined. Since Buem . . . ^ has 
lost at play, there is a chance for me to be useful to him. 
Drank the waters again, and went to the post. Received 
nothing, however. Kept a foolish promise by giving 
Tsvilenyev 2 roubles. Copied little, and badly. 

All good, save good satisfactory to conscience, i.e. 
productive of good to my neighbour, is conditional, unin- 
telligible, and independent of self. Which three conditions 
are combined in goodness done for the benefit of my neighbour. 
Satisfaction of my personal needs is good only in proportion 
as it may contribute towards the good of my neighbour. It con- 
stitutes the means. But wherein Hes the good of my neigh- 
bour ? That good is not unconditional, like personal good. 
Or good is what I conceive to be such according to my 
^ Dots in the copy ; or should it read " Buel . . ." ? — Ed. 


ideas and inclination. Hence inclination and measure of 
reason exercise no influence upon a man's worth. The 
mercenary man is good if he distributes money, the wise 
man is good if he teaches, the lazy man is good if he labours 
for the sake of others. But it is a view subject to doubt, 
since it is an objective view : whereas relief of the suffer- 
ings of men is good of a subjective order. But where does 
the boundary between suffering and labour lie ? Physical 
suffering is clear, yet conditioned by one's habits. I 
want to say that to do good is to afford others an oppor- 
tunity of doing hkewise — of removing all obstacles thereto, 
such as want, ignorance, and vice . . . But here, again, 
there is no clearness. Yesterday I was stopped by the ques- 
tion, "Are pleasures devoid of utility evil ? " To-day I 
assert that they are. The man who understands true good 
will wish for no other. Never to lose for a single moment 
the possibility of learning to do good constitutes perfection. 
Never to seek the advantage of one's neighbour, to sacrifice 
it to one's own, constitutes evil. And between the one 
and the other, between the greater and the less measure 
of activity, lies the vast interval wherein the Creator has 
set humanity after giving it the power to choose. Going 
to bed at ii. 

July 1st. — Rose late, for the weather was bad. Rode to 
the post, and received money and a letter giving par- 
ticulars of Kopylov's 1 promissory notes, which have been 
presented to him. To-morrow will v/rite to Audrey and 
Serezhenka. May lose Yasnaya ; which, despite all phil- 
osophy, would be for me a terrible blow. Dined, wrote 
little and badly, and did nothing good. To-morrow shall 
conclude Childhood, and decide upon its fate. Going to 
bed at 11.30. 

1 In a letter from Moscow to Mme. T. A. Ergolsky, Tolstoy wrote 
as early as Dec. 9, 1852, as follows : " Kopylov played a nasty 
trick on me. He gave me an order addressed to his Moscow agent 
to pay bearer for 80 quarters of rye which I had sold him, and I 
have not yet been able to get the money : I am very displeased 
about this, for I had allowed him a discount of 50 copecks a quarter 
in order to get the money in advance. . . ." This indicates the 
nature of Tolstoy's relations with this man. — Ed. 


July 2nd. — Rose at 5, and went for a walk. Finished 
Childhood, and corrected the same. Dined, read N. N., 
and wrote a draft letter to the Editor. Equity is the 
extreme measure of virtue to which every man is bound. 
Above it lie stages towards perfection : below it lies vice. 

Is prayer necessary and useful ? Only experience can 
give conviction of the fact. Does God fulfil our prayers ? 
And is the tendency noticeable in all men ? Here are two 
proofs of its utility, and none to the contrary;^ prayer is 
useful because it is non-harmful, and because it Jslmoral 
soUtude. Hour after 10, and I will stop now, and go^ to 
bed. My teeth, I think, will prevent my sleeping. Have 
considered the matter deeply, and dare assert that tooth- 
ache increases the value of health. 

July yd. — Rose at 7, went for a walk, corrected Child- 
hood, half-wrote a letter to the Editor,^ and received nice 
letters from Tatyana Alexandrovna, Nikolenka, and 
Fedurkin. Also a stupid one from M. and A., and an 
unpleasant one from V. Walked to the crater ,2 received 

^ " Letter to the Editor," i.e. to N. A. Nekrasov, editor of the 
Sovremennik magazine. Tolstoy had evidently dispatched this 
letter, together with Part I. of the story Childhood, signed only 
with the initials L, N. In a letter (dated July 3) Tolstoy writes, 
among other things : 

" Ii^ reality this manuscript forms Part I. of a novel — Four 
Epochs of Development. The appearance of the following parts 
will depend upon the success of the first. If, owing to its size, 
it cannot be inserted in one issue, please divide it into three 
portions. . . ." At the end of the letter Tolstoy gives his address, 
" L. N., c/o (his brother). Lieutenant of Artillery Count N. N. Tolstoy, 
Starogladovskaya Stanitsa." 

In the editorial notes to the book entitled, A y chives of the Village 
of Karabikha, it is stated : " The letter is written in a small, careful 
hand, evidently that of a clerk. Nekrasov made a note at the 
top of the letter : ' The story Childhood was sent with this letter. 
Count Leo Tolstoy is the author.' In all probability Nekrasov 
added this note considerably later, for from his reply to Tolstoy, 
through his brother, N. N. Tolstoy, it does not transpire that he 
could, with certainty, name the author of the story at that time. 
Tolstoy's letter quoted here, as well as others adduced further on, 
were first published in the Archives of the Village of Karabikha. — Ed. 

^ On one of the promontories of the Mashuk mountain rising 
behind Pyatigorsk is a large crater of volcanic origin with a round 
opening at the top. It contains a sulphur spring which forms a 


50 roubles from Alexeyev, drank tea at home, and had a 
chat with B . . . Corrected, and copied out, a letter to 
Valerian on the sale both of Vorotynka and of Mostovaya 
and G. Ordered debts to be registered. Going to bed at 
II. Nerves much unstrung. 

July 4th. — Was awakened by Vanyushka after 4 ; where- 
upon I rose, finished correction, and wrote letters to 
Fedurkin (nicely), Kopylov (passably well), Tatyana 
Alexandrovna (a nice letter throughout), and Beersha ^ 
(with cleverness, but carelessly). Inscribed a power of 
attorney and the petition, and posted all rather carefully. 
Dined, but did nothing else. Drank the waters. Looked 
with overmuch approval upon Kryuk . . ., and con- 
descended to slander. Was incautious enough to finish 
a bottle of kvas. Consequently, have been belching, and 
am sweating. 

g:jThe aim which I have discovered in life now occupies me 
less than it did. Can it be that it is not really a true and 
firm rule, but merely one of those thoughts which, under 
the influence of conceit, vanity, and pride, are born only 
to disappear ? No, it is a true rule. My conscience tells 
me as much. Oh that, in consequence of this theory, 
my life would fare better, and more easily ! The rule in 
question must be supported by deeds ; then action will 
be justified by the rule in question. One must work. I 
am going to write to Nikolenka and Dyakov. 

small lake inside the crater, the water of which is sky blue ; the 
approach is through a tunnel. This spot is much frequented by 
tourists, and is a favourite walk for visitors. — Ed. 

1 " Beersha " : Natalia Andreyevna Beer (1809-1887). She 
was Tolstoy's great-aunt ; he always called her " Beersha " 
although in 1857 she married Vladimir Konstantinovich Rzhevsky 
(her second cousin) . Her husband was afterwards a senator and was 
in charge of the Land Surveying Department. In the 'fifties and 
'sixties he was known as a publicist and wrote for Katkov's Russky 
Vestnik ; he died in 1885. 

It is very regrettable that this part of the Beer family archives 
containing Tolstoy's letters to N. A. has been lost. Mme. N. A. 
Beer's letters to Tolstoy are probably in the Tolstoy archive in 
the Rumyantsev Museum, to which no access can be had. (Con- 
cerning Mme. N. A. and the Beer family, vide footnote on p. 60 
. . .)— Ed. 


First, however, I must write A Letter from the 
Caucasus. Am very languid, and the warts refuse to dis- 
appear. Going to bed after 9. Have paid the doctor 
15 roubles — for nothing at all. 

July ^fh. — Rose at 5. Went for a walk, and lost my 
temper with a lady who entered into conversation on the 
subject of Bulka. Called upon L T., but failed to find him 
at home. Hilkovsky arrived. Of the fact I was very 
glad, for I hke him. Dined, worked at A Letter from the 
Caucasus, began well, but finished carelessly, drank the 
waters, went for a walk, and underwent disillusionment 
concerning K . . . Was paid a visit by T . . . and a 
certain Shishk . . . Chatted with them with pleasure, 
but, in spite of my promise, shall not visit them to-morrow. 
There is nothing to go for. There is between us too little 
in common. The day has been spent anyhow, but I am 
satisfied with myself. To-morrow shall set out at 10. 
Going to bed at 10. 

July 6th. Zheleznovodsk. — Rose at 6. All teeth aching, 
but I proceeded to Zheleznovodsk, and, despite terrible 
sufferings, uttered not a groan, nor lost my temper. Slept, 
chatted with . . . [indecipherable], and played at chess. 
Discussed with him the aim which I have discovered in 
Hfe. Regret that I did so. Evidently do not greatly 
value this thought if I can decide to talk of, to demon- 
strate, it to others. However, it is the best thing of which 
I have yet thought or read. 4This is the truth. Am going 
to bed after 11. 

July yth. — Rose at 6. Teeth were aching, and I was 
conscious of great weakness. Drank the waters. The 
forest is delightful. Wrote to Tatyana Alexandrovna 
a letter which I shall not dispatch ; also one to Nikolenka. 
Must make all possible haste to complete the satire of my 
Letter from the Caucasus ; though satire is not natural to 
me. Drank the waters, took a bath, and again caught 
cold in my teeth, so that they are aching at this moment 
Going to bed at 11. 

July Sth. — Rose at 8, drank the waters, took a bath. 


and worked passably well at A Letter from the Caucasus. 
Teeth ached, but I read with much pleasure the Con- 
fessions. Hilkovsky arrived, and Alexeyev. With the 
former discussed my artillery schemes, and he raised an 
objection which was to the point — that the position of 
wheels should not be horizontal. Am considering the point. 
B . . . joined in the conversation, and I offended him. 
Going to bed, with terrible toothache, after lo. 

fuly gth. — Rose at 8, and suffered through my teeth, 
though now they are better. Read the Confessions all 
day. The second part is wholly new to me. Alexeyev 
called to say that I must serve two years. That being 
so, I shall retire. — Failures are leading me to despise 
human opinion. For those failures I thank God. Going 
to bed at ii. 

July loth. — Rose late, and in the worst possible mood. 
Went for a walk — weakness and toothache. I sent B . . . 
to Pyatigorsk for news, and my mind was set at ease in 
advance. Went for a walk with Hilkovsky, who wearies 
me extremely. Took a bath, my teeth having ceased to 
ache. Alifer (?) called on me. He is a German. There 
occurred to me 2 ideas at once pleasant and feasible, though 
too good ever to be realized : namely (i) that we should 
live a trois — Nikolenka, Masha, and myself. Valerian, of 
course, would be in the way, but so agreeable are the other 
three that they would render him equally agreeable. 
(2) To surrender Yasnaya to Nikolinka and receive from 
him 600 roubles a year. This, if I remain to serve here, 
I shall do. Going to bed at 11. 

July nth. — Rose at 7. Read the Confessions all day, 
and did nothing else. B . . . has found nothing in the 
regulations concerning the right of leave extending to 6 
months. I have spoken to Alexeyev, and will speak again 
to-morrow. Am resolved firmly upon one of two things : 
either to retire or to undergo examination. Teeth are 
aching, and I am indolent and distraught. Going to bed 
at 12. 

July 12th. — Rose late, drank the waters, took a bath, 


and did nothing for the rest of the day. I have loitered 
enough ! To-morrow I will end the affair with A . . . 
and begin to occupy myself seriously. Read My Child- 
hood — it is poor. Going to bed after lo. 

July i2,th. — Rose early, drank the waters, and took a 
bath. Began to write, but have no desire so to do. Dined, 
listened to B . . . 's reading of My Childhood, and suffered 
from toothache. Called upon Alifer,^ and caught a cold. 
Since the morning have had a severe pain in my leg. 
Drank the waters. Saw Alexeyev, but said nothing 
about business. To-morrow, will describe all in a con- 
clusive letter to Nikolinka. Finished My Childhood. It 
is a pity that G. is so audacious, and so arrogantly patriotic, 
not to mention the fact that he is limited. Teeth have 
been aching terribly. D ... is treating me for it. 

The desire of the flesh is personal good. The desire of 
the soul is the good of others. One cannot decline to admit 
the immortality of the soul, but one can decline to admit 
the soul's annihilation. Even if the body he distinct from 
the soul, and undergoes annihilation, what is there to prove 
annihilation also of the soul ? Suicide is the most impressive 
expression and evidence of the soul ; and the existence of the 
soul is a proof of its own immortality. I have seen that the 
body dies : hence I presume that my own will die. But 
there is nothing to show me that the soul dies : wherefore I 
say that it is immortal, according to my own ideas. The 
idea of eternity is a disease of the intellect. Going to bed 
after lo. 

July 14th. — ^Wrote a letter to Nikolenka, drank the 
waters, bathed despite the rain, and did not catch cold — 
indeed, am in good health, and teeth are hardly aching at 
all. Read, and finished, A Letter from the Caucasus, in the 
rough. It needs much to be revised, yet still may turn out 
well. Will set about it to-morrow. Going to bed at 10. 

1 Alifer {vide previous entry for July lo). Possibly it is Second- 
Captain Olifer, one of the officers of the 4th brigade. As he had 
been " badly wounded " (a few years previously) we may assume 
he was amongst the officers who went to the watering-place on 
leave of absence. — Ed. 


July i^th. — Rose at 6, and said some rude things to B . . . 
The customary mode of Hfe, health, and mental condi- 
tion. The Letter from the Caucasus lies on the table, yet 
I cannot set to work upon it. Read Rousseau, and feel 
how far higher he stands in culture and in talent than 
myself, although lower in self-respect, in firmness, and 
in judgement. Going to bed after lo. Scepticism has 
brought me to an oppressive moral position. Walked to 
the forest with Hilkovsky, and was bored. To-morrow 
will go alone, if D. will allow me. 

July 1.6th. — Rose late. The ordinary routine. My 
health is better. Went for a walk with Hilkovsky and 
R . . ., who wearies me to death. Visited Roger ,^ who 
was attentive, and has altered my regimen a little, while 
bidding me continue the baths. Have done nothing 
all day. My indolence is terrible. Going to bed 
at II. 

July lyth. — Rose at 6. The new regimen is not helping 
me. Legs are aching, and teeth, since dinner, have been 
doing the same. Later, called upon Roger, and showed 
him a pimple on my nose. He tried to reassure me. Sloth 
and ill-humour are winning the day completely. B. is 
so uncivil . . . that I shall have to part with him. 
Went to look at the sunset. Am much interested in the 
degraded and married Evreinov. Going to bed at lo. 

July iSth. — Last night, through rheumatism and the 
moonlight, it was long before I could get to sleep. Sat at 
the window, and thought many things that were good. 
Rose late. Drank the waters, took a bath, made some 
acquaintances, went for a walk, chatted, and otherwise 
did nothing. Considering a scheme for a novel ^ of a 
Russian landowner, with a purpose. I pray thus : 
God, deliver me from evil — i.e. deliver me from the tempta- 
tion to do evil, and dower me with good — i.e. with the possi- 

1 Karl Christianovich Roger, doctor of medicine at Zheleznovodsk, 
a watering-place in the Caucasus. — Ed. 

* This work apparently served afterwards as a basis for the 
story, The Morning of a Landowner . . . ; this " novel " is also 
mentioned in the entries for Oct. 19, Dec. 11 and 27, 1852. — Ed. 


hility to do good. Am I to experience good or evil ? Thy 
will he done. 

Surely shall I never succeed in deriving an idea of 
God as clearly as I do the idea of virtue ? Yet this has 
become my strongest wish. Punishment is injustice. It 
is not possible for man to determine retribution. He is 
too limited ; he is too much man. And punishment, as a 
threat, is unjust, since man is ever ready to sacrifice a certain 
evil for a doubtful good. Removal, however, even death, 
is just. Death is not an evil, for it is an undoubted law 
of God. The idea of God comes of man's recognition of 
his own weakness. Going to bed at 9.30. My stay in 
Zheleznovodsk seems to be working in my brain, and 
preparing there much that is good (sensible, useful). What 
will come of this I do not know. 

July igth. — Rose at 6. The ordinary routine. My 
health has been good, though I caught a cold in the forest, 
and again felt pain in the legs and teeth. Am doing 
nothing at all, though comporting myself well, if only it 
is possible to comport oneself well while one remains 
idle ; I feel dull. Enjoy neither thoughts nor energy. 
Or I enjoy no energy because I enjoy no thoughts. Going 
to bed at 12. Slept during the daytime. Read a book 
by Konradi.i 

July 20th. — Last night did not sleep, but rose at 6, 
drank the waters at home, and went to see Roger. Have 
moved into No. 8. Health would seem to be better, but 
I continue to do nothing. From to-day will not smoke. 
To-morrow will begin to recast A Letter from the Caucasus. 
Also^ will substitute a volunteer for myself. Bed at 9.30. 

July 21st. — Either the medical treatment or my in- 
dolence is preventing me from setting to work at any- 
thing. Cannot apply myself. Cannot even think of any- 
thing serious. However, am conducting myself well — 
am quite at ease, and almost wholly in good health. [[6]1. 

^ A Discourse on Artificial Mineral Wafers, Supplemented by the 
Latest Information concerning the Mineral Springs of the Caucasus, 
a work by F. Konradi, doctor and surgeon. — Ed. 


I shall complete 5 baths ; then go straight home. Bed 
at 10. 

July 22nd. — Rose at 6 ; the weather was abominable ; 
and drank the waters at home. [[7]]. 

God's will be done ! All is for the best. My ailments 
have brought me a distinct moral advantage ; and for this 
I thank Him. Once more have done nothing. Wrote 
a letter to Nikolenka to send with Ogolin (?)^ who is going 
to-morrow. Sitting down to play chess. It is after 11. 
Slept during the dajrtime. 

July 2yd. — [7]]. Am doing nothing. Also, am smoking. 
Shall go to bed at 11. 

July 24th. — Again distraught, again idle. Have doubts 
about my health. Was visited by Sukhotin,^ and had 
an agreeable talk concerning elections. Despite good- 
natured speeches, he seems to be a crafty, conceited, 
though well-intentioned, individual. Going to bed after 

July 2$th. — ^Am roaming about. Health is neither one 
thing nor the other. However, have nothing with which 
to reproach myself. Going to bed at 10 minutes to 11. 

July 26th.— \2\ Since dinner my teeth have been 
aching terribly, and still are doing so. Feel poorly, and 
shall go to bed, though not to sleep. It is after 10 o'clock. 

July 2']ih. — Did not rise punctually. Have not been 
myself all day. R . . . has acted wisely, and has not 
yet come to any decision. Going to bed after 10. To- 
day is B.'s nameday. 

July 2^th. — In every respect the same. Received a 
letter from A . . . (?). 

July 2gth, — Roger has been here, but is not beginning 

1 This is undoubtedly another Sukhotin, not the one akeady 
mentioned {vide entry for May 12 and footnote on p. 159). Every- 
thing points to the fact that he was a visitor at the watering- 
place. Not long before Tolstoy posted this entry he wrote to 
Mme. T. A. Ergolsky (June 26, from Pyatigorsk) : " Sukhotin 
is here but I have not seen him yet, as I scarcely leave the house. 
Although stupid, he is a living creature." Judging by this he 
would appear to be the same S. M. Sukhotin, landowner of Tula, 
whom Tolstoy, later on, often mentions in his Letters to his Wife. — Ed. 


a cure. Shall stay here until Thursday. Always the same 
routine. — It is all right. 

July soth. — The same as usual, but idleness beginning 
to weary me. Going to bed at 12. 

July 31s/. — The same. Seem to be very ill physically, 
and no doubt in a terrible moral condition. 

August 1st. Pyatigorsk. — Have arrived at Pyatigorsk. 
My health as usual. But morally I am better. Roger 
is avaricious, yet I shall not give in to him. Will ask 
Alexeyev for money. Going to bed at 9.30. 

August 2nd. — Uncertainty, idleness. Obtained money 
of Hilkovsky. In the morning read a little of the Poli- 
tique,'^ and well. 

August yd. — Rose early, [3]]. Hilkovsky has departed. 
Frame of mind is excellent. Spent the day in the garden. 
Read the Politique. In my novel will demonstrate the 
evil of Russian administration ; and, should I find the 
work satisfactory, wiU devote the rest of my life to draw- 
ing up a scheme for an aristocratic, selective union, with 
a monarchical administration on the basis of existing 
elections. I have there an aim for a virtuous life. I 
thank Thee, Lord ! Grant unto me strength. 

August 4th. — Rose early, and visited the bazaar. Went 
for a walk with B . . . and chatted with him. How 
burdensome I find idleness ! Visited Er. Sat on the 
Boulevard. Read. An expedition is in store for us. 
However, I wish to retire. Perhaps I shall go to- 

August $th. — Rose early. Visited Roger, and gave him 
15 roubles for having done nothing. Got ready for the 

* Perhaps Aristotle's Politics. Tolstoy's library at Yasnaya 
Polyana contains this book in French. In later years he re-read 
this work and mentions it in the entry for Feb. 29, 1897 (vide 
Diary, vol. i., p. 82, edited by V. G. Tchertkofi, published 1916, 
Moscow) . 

Aristotle, a Greek philosopher {384-322 B.C.). Politics contains 
a doctrine of law and education. Possibly it is Plato's Politics, 
for during this period Tolstoy was apparently reading this phil- 
osopher's works {^vide the story Childhood, chapter on music). 
— Ed. 


journey, and left at 2. All went well. En route ^ said my 
prayers aloud ; and the presence of B . . . actually 
incited me to a true pray erf ulness. Was there vanity 
even in this ? Spending the night at Georgiyevskaya. 

August 6th (1852). — ^The road, dreams, petty vexations, 
insipidity. Keep thinking and thinking of the expedition, 
but have failed to make up my mind to anjrthing. Will 
consider the matter with my brother, and then I shall 
know it better. Futurity moves us to greater interest 
than does actuality. If we think of the futurity of the 
other world it is a good tendency. To live in the present, 
i.e. to act in the best possible fashion in the present, con- 
stitutes wisdom. 

At Galagan. Have made the acquaintance of a certain 
Art (?) Kom. (?), and shall visit him at Kizlyar. 

August yth, Sth. Starogladkovskaya, — Arrived last night. 
Feel well, and have decided quietly to await officer's rank. 
Drill, discussions. Am retiring at 11. Have received a 
letter from Serezha ; a letter which has saddened me. 

August gth. — ^Attended drill, and explained matters to 
Alexeyev for 6 hours. Teeth have been aching. Am 
satisfied with myself. . . . 

August 10th. — Strolled about, and chatted. Am well. 

August 11th. — Rose early, went for a walk, dined at home, 
slept, and again went for a walk. Lack both continence 
and activity and consistency. Have no desire even to 
think of anything. Nevertheless have nothing with which 
to reproach myself | and that is well. The routine of this 
place might cause one even to become something of a fool. 
Nikolenka is an example. Shall revert to my old method 
of determining occupations in advance. Hunting, a 
letter home to Serezha, reading of the Contrat Social.^ 
After dinner, consideration of my scheme for Russian 
administration,^ a walk, and a ride. 

^ This is probably a slip of the pen and should read : " Before 
my departure. " — Ed. 

^ Social Contract. — Ed. 

' Scheme for Russian administration {vide previous entry for 
May 23, 1852, and footnote on p. 163). — Ed. 


Atigust 12th. — Spent the time as usual. Walked a great 
deal, and in the evening ate overmuch melon, with the 
result that . . . 

August i^th. — Fever and colic. Bore sufferings with 

August i^h. — There has been no fever. Rested, medi- 
tated, read, and wrote to Tatyana Alexandrovna. Going 
to bed late. 

August i^th. — Attended drill. Met Alexeyev, who con- 
tinues to sulk. Went shooting with Nikolenka, who was 
very nice. My spiritual condition is good, but am sad I 
know not why. 

August i^th. — A bad morning. Attended drill, and went 
for a ride. Chatted with Alexeyev. Hilkovsky Pak. ...(?) 
subjected me to temptation. Simplicity is the quality 
which, more than all others, I wish to acquire. To-morrow 
will see the Brigadier-General ^ here, and I have been 
appointed orderly. 

August i6th. — Have been acting as orderly, and spending 
the day on colourless duties. Am very weary, and have 
learnt much which, though unnecessary, is novel. 

August lyth. — Have been attending parade. The best 
thing that I can look for from the Service is to retire. On 
returning from parade, slept until 9 o'clock. My brain 
is very fresh. The causes of the decline of literature are 
that the reading of light works has become a habit, and 
their composition a pursuit. To write one good book 
in life is fully sufficient. And to read one. Disciphne 
only is necessary for conquests. 

For every man exists one particular road whereby 
every position becomes for him the true one. Nothing 
has so convinced me of the existence of God, of our relations 
with Him, as the thought that capabilities have been given 
all living creatures in conformity with demands which 

1 L. F. Levin, commander of the 20th field artillery brigade, 
which Tolstoy joined as a gunner. In Yanzhul's book we read : 
" At the end of 1851 Colonel Levin took over from Colonel 
Gramatin the command of the 20th artillery brigade." — Ed. 


require to be satisfied. Nothing more, nothing less. But 
for what purpose has man been given the power of under- 
standing such things as a cause, eternity, infinity, omni- 
potence ? The position of which I speak (as to the exist- 
ence of God) is a hypothesis supported by tokens. And 
faith, according to man's development, complements the 
correct itude of that hypothesis. 

August i8th. — Four rules by which men are guided : 
(i) that of living for one's own happiness, (2) that of living 
for one's own happiness while doing the least possible 
harm to others, (3) that of doing for others what one 
desires others to do for oneself, and (4) that of living for 
the happiness of others. 

Have been spending the whole day on duty, or with my 
brother and the officers. The scheme of my novel is be- 
ginning to take shape. 

August igth. — Have spent the time anyhow. Read 
trash of various sorts, and considered the scheme of my 
novel. Feel exceedingly well. 

August 20th. — In the morning, went shooting with my 
brother ; in the evening, with Sultanov. Shot 4 pheasants. 
Had a glorious day. 

August 21st. — In the morning, went shooting. At night, 
had toothache until dawn. 

August 22nd. — In the morning, felt languid. Friends 
arrived who, with Sultanov, created terrible disorder. 
Went shooting, and killed 2 pheasants. Out of spirits 
all day. 

August 2yd. — Have been orderly for the day. My 
friends weary me. Dans le doute ahstiens-toi?- 

August 24th. — Went shooting, and attended drill. 

August 25th. — Killed a woodcock, and twice attended 
driU. No one can demand of himself the possibiUty of 
total non-culpability. How often has the human race 
departed from righteousness ! Necessary is it to work 

^ " When in doubt restrain yourself " (French proverb). It is 
a saying ascribed to Pythagoras, of which Tolstoy was very fond 
all his life long. — Ed. 


mentally. That womenfolk are happier through being 
ignorant of that labour I am aware ; but God has set me 
on a particular road, and I must follow it. 

August 26th. — Shot 5 woodcock, and drill. [[15]]. As 
it were, I fear my thoughts, I strive to forget myself. 
Why should I force myself ? Am happier thus than when 
I think fruitlessly. 

August 2yth. — Drill. Sport with greyhounds. Killed 
a partridge. [[3]. 

August 28th. — Am now 24, yet have done nothing. 
I feel that not in vain have I for 8 years been struggling 
with doubt and my passions. For what am I destined ? 
The future will reveal it. Killed 3 woodcock. 

August 2gth. — Went shooting with Nikolenka. Killed 
a pheasant and a hare. Slept, and received a letter from 
Islavin in Petersburg (a mean letter which I shall answer, 
not with sarcasm, as I felt inclined to do at first, but with 
the silence of genuine contempt) ; also, a letter from the 
Editor ^ which has gladdened me to the point of foolish- 
ness. Not a word of money. To-morrow must write to 
Neki'asov ^ and Buyemsky, and also do some composition. 

August 30th. — Went shooting with Nikolenka. Saw 
a deer, and killed a pheasant. Dined, walked in the 
gardens, and hunted for woodcock. Strolled along the 

^ From N. A. Nekrasov, editor of the Sovremennik. It is quoted 
in Biryukov's Life of Tolstoy, vol. i., p. 218. This letter was in 
answer to one of Tolstoy's written on June 3rd, 1852 {vide entry 
for this date). In Biryukov's Life this letter is dated " Aug. 28," 
whereas in the copy of the Diary at the Editor's disposal this entry 
bears the date " Aug. 29th." Nekrasov's letter, which begins 
with the words : " I have read your manuscript " [Childhood), 
has appeared in print many times and, therefore, we do not quote 
it here. Nekrasov wrote to Turgenev concerning the author of 
the History of My Childhood : " This is a new light and apparently 
a reliable one." On the same date Tolstoy has the intention of 
writing to Nekrasov. — Ed. 

2 Nikolay Alexeyevich Nekrasov (i 821-1877). He was a poet, 
a people's socialist and editor-publisher of the best progressive 
magazines of his time. At the end of 1846, together with Panayev, 
he acquired the Sovremennik from Pletnev and conducted it until 
its suppression in 1868. From 1868 till his death he edited the 
Otechestvenniya Zapiski, — Ed, 



street, and treated P. (?) coolly. Nikolenka advises me 
to go to K. U. Will think it over. 

September ist. — Drill twice. Went shooting, and killed 
a woodcock. Did nothing else, but reflected to some 

September 2nd. — Mounted drill. In the afternoon killed 
3 pheasants. What a charm has David Copperfield ^ ! 

September '^rd. — Sighted the moon on my left. The 
spirit's tendency is the good of one's neighbour ; the 
tendency of the flesh is one's own personal good. In the 
hidden bond between the soul and the body lies the solu- 
tion of opposing aspirations. Cannot have had my sleep 
out, for, on returning from drill, I was in ill humour. 
Intend to use the whole time that I may be forced to 
remain here for the purpose of becoming better, of pre- 
paring myself for the life which I have chosen. 

September y^d. — Drill and sport. Healthy, and at rest. 
Have written to Buyemsky. 

September 4th. — Killed 3 pheasants. Tired myself very 
much, and also caught a cold. Lay down, and read for 
the rest of the time. 

September ^th. — Spent the day at home. My throat is 
hurting me. Wrote a letter ^ to Nekrasov. Am too lazy 
to write anything else, though I should like to do so. 

^ We do not know whether Tolstoy read it in EngHsh or in a 
translation. In a letter to his brother S. N. Tolstoy, he writes : 
" If there should be an opportunity, or if you happen to be in 
Moscow yourself, buy me Dickens' David Copperfield in English 
and send me Sadler's English dictionary which is amongst my 
books." December 1853, Starogladovskaya Stanitsa. 

Charles Dickens ... is thoroughly national in his works, yet 
he depicts impartially both the positive and the negative traits 
of English types, chiefly of the middle and lower classes, portray- 
ing them with inimitable humour which was especially to Tolstoy's 
liking ; from early childhood until the end of his days he re-read 
many times his favourite author . . . and never ceased to take 
delight in him. — Ed. 

^ This letter is in all probability the one which was inserted in 
the book. Archives of the Village of Karahikha, and dated "Sept. 15, 
1852." We do not know whether this is a misprint or whether 
Tolstoy himself sent off the letter on a later date than the one 
on which he wrote it. We are unable to verify it, but there is no 


September 6th. — My throat is still hurting me, and 
I keep thinking of consumption. [3]]. Read all 

September yth. — 111 and distraught. 

September 8th. — Health worse than ever, but am brisker 
in spirit. 

September gth. — Health very bad. 

September 1.0th. Kizlyar. — Arrived at Kizlyar. Health 
still worse. 

September nth. — Worse and worse. Have been bled. 

September 12th. — ^Am recovering, and, morally, am very 

September 13th. — Visited Sultanov, and spent the 14th, 
15th, and i6th in his company. Ate too much, went out 
hunting, and found fault with Perepelitsyn, my medical 
attendant [?]. To-day received a letter from Nikolenka, 
who is resigning. 

September lyth. Starogl. — Hunted between Kizlyar and 
Starogladkovskaya. It was very unwise. 

September igth. — Went shooting. The scheme of the 
new novel seems to have ripened sufficiently. If I do 
not set about it now, the fact will show that I am 
incorrigibly lazy. 

September 20th. — Went shooting with Nikolenka, and 
killed a pheasant and a quail. Ushakov^ called. [[3]]. 

doubt that it is in answer to Nekrasov's first letter, as can be seen 
from its contents : 

" The good opinion you expressed about my novel pleased me 
very much, especially because it was the first that came to my 
notice and because it was from you. Nevertheless I repeat the 
request I addressed to you in my first letter — that you should put 
a price on the manuscript, send me the money you consider it to 
be worth, or say outright it has no worth. 

" The autobiographical form which I adopted and which necessi- 
tates a connection between Part I. and the subsequent parts puts 
so much constraint on me that I often feel a desire to cease 
writing it, and to leave Part I. without a continuation." 

As before, this letter was signed only with the initials "L. N." — Ed, 

1 Perhaps it is Sergey Petrovich Ushakov, 1 828-1 894, later a 
senator and governor of Tula. In Yanzhul's book, in the list of 
officers of the 20th artillery brigade, are the names : Ushakov I. 
and II. (no Christian names are given). — Ed. 


With his aplomb he puts me out of countenance. Now, 
5 o'clock, my teeth are aching terribly. The cocks have 
just crowed. 

September 21st. — All day my teeth have been aching. 
Read for the sake of reading. 

September 22nd. — On my teeth ceasing to ache, I sat 
down to write, but Tsezarkhan arrived, and hindered 
me. Went shooting with SuHmovsky (?), and killed 3 
pheasants. Read the history of the war of '13. Only 
a sluggard or an incapable could say that he can find 
no occupation. — Must compose a true and just history of 
Europe of the present century. There I have an aim for 
all my life. Few epochs in history are so instructive as 
this one, or so little debated without prejudice, and with 
truth ; the reason being that in these days we debate, 
rather, the histories of Egypt and Rome. Wealth, fresh- 
ness of source, and historical impartiality are a perfection 
unknown to us. 

Before it occurred to me to write the foregoing there 
had entered my head another condition of beauty whereof 
I had not previously thought — clear-cutness, distinctness 
of character. 

September 2yd. — Went for a ride with the dogs, had 
a dull time, slept, killed a pheasant, considered the scheme 
of my novel, and began to write the same. Must make 
an effort to overcome indolence, and to-morrow write, well 
or ill. 

September 24th. — Wrote lazily, and, though not very 
badly, far worse than I had thought to do. It cannot be 
compared with what it used to be, and I lack smoothness. 
I must write and write. So to do is the only method of 
developing manner and a style. 

September 2^th. — My throat has been hurting me ; 
wherefore I have been unable to master myself — to force 
myself to write. Wrote a sensible business letter to 
Valerian. 1 Read various kinds of rubbish. 

September 26th. — My throat is hurting me, but I have 
1 Count V. P. Valerian Tolstoy, his brother-in-law. — Ed, 


written ij sections, and passably well, though they repre- 
sent a digression. My malady seems to have come of 
intemperance and an upset of the stomach. 

September 2jth. — Am almost certain that my appKca- 
tion will not succeed. Hence I will write to Piter ,^ so as 
finally to make sure of the point. My health is good. 
Wrote a little, chatted with Nikolenka, and altogether 
spent the day favourably. Among questions which I 
am seeking to decide in my novel, the question of insults 
is preoccupying, strongly embarrassing, me. Either I am 
too proud, or I have really been weak at such junctures. 
At all events, only when I remember them do I feel anything 
in the nature of repentance. 

September 2Sth. — Last night I could not get to sleep 
before the second cock-crow, though I had splendid reveries 
and thoughts. To-day, studied geometry and English 
history, walked in the gardens, visited Nikolenka, and 
grew heated in a dispute — a thing which has not occurred 
for a long time past, and is a bad thing. Wrote passably 

September 2gth. — My teeth have been aching. Niko- 
lenka lost his temper with me over a question of chemistry, 
and I did not know how to break off the conversation 
without feeling vexed. Wrote 3 letters to Islavin, Taleran, 
and Valerian . . . Read the new Sovremennik, which 
contains a good story ^ — one like my Childhood, but lacking 

September ^oth. — Am not well. One foot and my cheek- 
bones are rheumatic. Wrote a little, went shooting, and 
received a letter from Nekrasov.^ Praises, but no money. 

^ The term applied to St Petersburg by the common people. — 

3 All data tend to prove that the good story in the new Sovre- 
mennik resembhng Childhood was Yakov Yakovlevich, a story bearing 
the signature Nikolay M . . . — Ed. 

2 The "Letter from Nekrasov," dated Sept. 5, is inserted in 
P. I. Biryukov's Life of Tolstoy (vol. i., p. 219, second edition). 
Nekrasov writes as follows : 

" After reading it carefully, this time not in manuscript but in 
proof form, I came to the conclusion that the novel is much better 


October ist. — Got through a good deal of work. Pro- 
vided that I write so much per day, in a year I shall com- 
plete a good novel. Things are dull without Nikolenka, 
though I have arranged a routine. 

October 2nd. — Rose early, and read at home. Nikolenka 
called, and I visited him before dinner. After dinner, 
slept, walked a little, wrote to Tatyana Alexandrovna, 
and admired Yan. Yan. Safa, the Gildy} a Cossack dance 
with songs and shootings, also Al . . . . The night was 
splendid and starlit — it was splendid, and had a character 
of its own. Wrote half a section, and wrote it well. At 
times I feel constrained in Nikolenka's company. The 
best method is to eschew constraint. If it is not agree- 
able to be in his company, it is best not to be with 

October ^rd. — Went shooting. Teeth ached terribly all 

than it appeared to me at first. I can positively say that the 
author is a man of talent. It is most important for you yourself 
to be convinced of this now, when you are a beginner. The number 
of the Sovremennik with your contribution in it will appear to- 
morrow in St Petersburg, but you will only get it in three weeks' 
time, not before. I will send it on to your address. I have omitted 
a few passages from your novel (very little however) ... I have 
not added anything." 

At the end of his letter Nekrasov again repeats his request that 
the author of the story should reveal his name. " Also in accord- 
ance with the regulations of the censorship it is necessary for me 
to know it." — Ed. 

^ " Gildy " probably " geldy," a Tartar word meaning, " hast 
come." We have succeeded in obtaining from Staroglad- 
kovskaya an explanation of this word and information to the 
effect that the natives of Daghestan have a roundelay of their own, 
the dancers of which sing as they dance, clapping their hands to 
mark the time: " Gyun, sen-geldy, sen-geldy — kyzyash . . .," etc. 
In the song the word " geldy " is several times repeated. The 
following is an attempt to render coherently a literal translation 
(made by an educated Kumyk, conversant with the Daghestan 
dialect) of the fragments of the song we were able to obtain : " Sun, 
thou hast come ! Thou my girlie, hast come, thou, my tiny one, 
hast come. Thou hast recognized me, my pet ! " The Kumyks 
who live on the right bank of the Terek, opposite Starogladkovskaya 
Stanitsa (situated on the left bank), have a similar song and dance. 
This is probably the dance borrowed by the Cossacks for their 
roundelay which Tolstoy had observed (according to information 
supplied by P. A. Tsyrulnikov) . — Ed. 


the time. Wrote nothing, but pondered on the conclusion 
of the novel. 

October 4th. — Have decided the question of the conclu- 
sion of the novel : " After the sequestration of the property, 
his unsuccessficl service in the capital, his being half carried 
away by the brutish desire to find a mate, and his disappoint- 
ment at the elections, Sukhotin's sister will hold him back. He, 
however, understands that his obsessions are not evil, but harm- 
ful ; that one may do good and be happy while enduring evil." 
Killed 4 pheasants, and visited the baths and Alexeyev, 
who gave me leave from orderly duty. 

October $th. — Went out with borzois, but found nothing. 
Slept. [[2]]. Received visits from all the officers. Wrote 
nothing. Do not think that here, in the Caucasus, I shall 
be able to describe the life of the peasants. The fact 
perplexes me. 

October 6th. — Attended drill as felt inclined, and Niko- 
lenka came before dinner. After dinner, read, hunted 
pheasants, and read again. Am not seriously setting my- 
self to write. Have no self-assurance. 

October yth. — Went hunting with harriers. Shot at a 
doe and a boar. Coolness was lacking. Received a letter 
from the new steward. Expenses have been enormous, and 
the bees sold, while the tillage is unsatisfactory. Con- 
cerning the chief point, they do not write, and I am in 
ignorance. If only I could be there, and at rest ! I am 
paying dearly for my infatuations ! Realize my aim, yet 
cannot attain it, cannot do that which is good. God, 
help me ! 

October 8th. — Until evening spent the day in a strange 
mood of invincible apathy as to both reading and writing. 
Read some rubbish, and wrote ij sections. Must for ever 
abandon the idea of writing without correction. Even 
three or four times are insufficient . . . Last night sent 
Van3mshka to the barracks for insolence. More than ever 
have decided to go into retirement, no matter under what 
conditions. The Service hinders the only two vocations 
of which I have become conscious ; especially the noblest, 


the best, the chief vocation, and the one wherein I 
am most sure to find peace and happiness. Ever3^hing 
shall be decided by the fact of whether or no Brimmer ^ 
has put my name forward. Should he have done so, I 
will await Petersb. Should he not have done so, I will 
retire forthwith. 

October gth. — Rose, and wrote J a section with perfect 
ease and excellence ; was somewhat indolent. Went out, 
and killed 2 pheasants. Stomach completely upset. 
Which is the best means of training one to temperance. 
Wrote to Valerian and N. U. 

October 10th. — Idled the whole day. Killed 2 partridges, 
and had a cheerful talk with Nikolenka. 

October 11th. — Went out with the dogs, but caught 
nothing. Found the time dull. Gave away the dogs to 
Nikolenka. Felt tired. Visited the bath and Nikolenka, 
and went for a walk with Yapishka. 

October 1.2th. — Rode shooting, went shooting. ([6]]. 
Set to work to write, but things made no progress. To- 
morrow shall write well, and apply m3^self to mathematics. 
Must try the magnetism of races of which I have been 
reading in the Sovremennik. Also, must have vigour. 

October I'^th. — The post is torturing me with suspense. 
Went for a walk with Nikolenka ; also, alone. Killed 
2 pheasants, and wrote much. [5]]. Intend to write some 
Caucasian Sketches for the formation of style, and for 

October 14th. — Went shooting with Nikolenka, Hilkovsky, 
and S. Felt tired. All the party dined with me, and 

^ Edward Vladimirovich Brimmer (i 797-1 874), major-general, 
chief of the artillery department of the Caucasian corps ; he lived 
at Tiflis, While serving in the Caucasus he came to the fore, owing 
to exceptional bravery and military talents. , . . 

Tolstoy writes of him in his letter from Tiflis to Mme, T. A. 
Ergolsky (Nov. 12, 1851), as follows : " The following day I went 
to General Brimmer to submit to him the documents I had 
received from Tula as well as my own person. In spite of his 
German readiness and desire to oblige, he was compelled to give 
me a refusal because my papers were not in order and some docu- 
ments were missing." — Ed. 


chatted until night. Feel very well now, for my stomach 
has righted itself, isl- 

October i^th. — Went shooting with Hilkovsky. Pre- 
viously wrote a little. Of the rest of the day was 
deprived by messieurs the officers. 

October i6th. — Die goldene Mitte^ . . . Formerly I 
overforced myself. Now I am becoming too lax. [3]]. 
Went shooting until evening, when I read and chatted. 

October lyth. — From morning onwards set myself to 
write, but abandoned it [[5]1. After dinner Yanyshke- 
vich(?) hindered me until evening. Visited Nikolenka, 
supped, and am going to bed. Help me, O Lord, to dispel 
my sloth, to grow accustomed to toil, and to love it ! 

October 18th. — Wrote well. After dinner visited Niko- 
lenka and the baths. {[2]1. Am beginning to wish for 
campaigning. Read The Niece,^ which is very good. 

October igth. — SimpHcity is the first condition of moral 
beauty. For readers to sympathize with a hero, they must 
recognize in him their weaknesses as well as their virtues ; 
virtues which are possible ; weaknesses which are inevitable. 

I have conceived the idea of taking up music. I hope 
that from to-morrow onwards I shall begin to work un- 
tiringly at either the one or the other. The idea of my 
novel is a happy one. It may not be perfection, but the 
book will always be good and useful. Hence I must toil 
at it without ceasing from such toil. If the letter from 
the Editor should stir me up to write sketches of the 
Caucasus, the following must be their synopsis : 

(i) Manners, the people : [a) the history of Sal ...» 
(&) the story of Balta, (c) the expedition to Mamakay- 

(2) The expedition to the sea : [a) the story of the 
German, (6) Armenian administration, (c) the journe5^ngs 
of the foster-mother. 

(3) War : [a) the march, (6) the movement, (c) what is 
valour ? 

^ The golden mean. — Ed. 

^ A novel by Mme. Eug. Tur . . . — Ed. 


Basis of a novel of a Russian landowner : (i) The hero 
seeks in rural life the realization of an ideal of happiness 
and justice. Not finding it, and disillusioned, he would 
seek it in the life of the family. But a friend of his suggests 
that happiness lies not in an ideal at all, hut in constant 
labour of a life whose object is the happiness of others. 

(2) Love does not exist. There exists the physical nead 
for intercourse, and the rational need for a mate in life. 

Proof of the immortality of the soul is seen in the soul's 

" Everything dies'' I shall be told. No ; it is that every- 
thing undergoes change, and that that change we call death. 
But nothing disappears. 

The essence of every being — matter, remains. And if we 
draw, further, a parallel with the soul, the essence of the soul 
is self -consciousness. 

It may be that the soul changes with death ; but self-con- 
sciousness, i.e. the soul, can never die. 

October 20th. — Wrote much (3 whole sections), and that 
fairly well. Until dusk stayed with Nikolenka. Chatted 
without restraint and with pleasure. 

Work, work. Work is a great factor. 

V. has been telling me of cures for fever : to kiss a mare 
on the head, to drink |[i]l, to wash in water in which a 
crucifix has been dipped as the wizard and quack does 
(who lives at V.), to throw an egg over a gate, and, with- 
out answering any questions, to run at full speed and 
fall flat upon one's face, and so forth. The post is, un- 
fortunately, torturing me. Have received a letter from 
Brimmer, who writes that the document confirming me 
cadet has been dispatched. However, it has not yet 

October 21st. — Wrote little — f of a section. In general, 
spent the day in ill-humour. After dinner Yapishka 
hindered me. Nevertheless his stories are wonderful. 

Sketches of the Caucasus ^ : (i) Yapishka's tales : [a) 

^ We can see by this entry that Tolstoy actually began his 
remarkable story at this period — perhaps under the vivid impres- 


about sport, (b) about the Cossacks' ancient mode of life, 
(c) about his own position in the mountains. 

October 22nd. — Wrote two sections badly. [3]]. 

October 23rd. — Went shooting, but saw nothing. All 
day did not write. Read some rubbish. The post is 
causing me to lose patience. 

October 24th, — Went shooting with Nikolenka. Killed 
a boar. My throat is hurting me. Wrote half a section. 

Chuprun — a peasant woman's jacket. 

October 2^th. — My teeth ache day and night. At first 
bore it patiently — even wrote J of a section ; but later 
I could not stand it. Read Histoire des Croisades ^ with 

October 26th. — Throat and teeth have been aching. 
Read Histoire des Croisades. 

October 2yth. — Have not yet recovered, nor taken any 
care of myself. Visited Nikolenka. Read the 2nd 
volume of Histoire des Croisades. Wrote nothing at all. 

October 28th ^ (1852). — Must again calculate the period of 
my exile from to-day. My papers have been returned 
me, and hence I cannot hope to return to Russia sooner 
than the middle of the month of July 1854, nor to retire 
sooner than 1855. By then I shall be 27. How old ! 
Three more years of service ! They must be employed to 
advantage. I must train myself to toil ; I must write 
something good, and prepare myself for, i.e. frame rules for, 

sion of Epishka's tales — a final version of which bears the title. 
The Cossacks, though it was at an earlier date that he first con- 
ceived these sketches, judging by his Diary. As we know, the 
story was not published until i860 ; at any rate, the old Cossack 
Epishka was taking shape as the artistic image of " Eroshka " — ex- 
actly at that time. — Ed. 

^ History of the Crusades, probably by the French historian 
Joseph Francois Michaud (1767- 1839), published at Paris during 
the years 1812-1822. ... In his Reminiscences of My Childhood 
Tolstoy says of his father : " He collected a library in accordance 
with the period — consisting of French classics and historical 
works. . . . Though he was a great reader, it is difficult to believe 
that he mastered all these Histoires des Croisades et des Papes 
which he put in his library." — Ed. 

2 This date was underlined four times. — Ed. 


living a life in the country. O God, help me ! Written 
very little. Went shooting, and chatted at Nikolenka's. 
He is an egoist. 

October 2gth. — To-day the last word has come true. 
Yet it was foolish of me to take to heart his remark 
that he himself has very little money. Wrote Tatyana 
Alexandrovna ^ a sad letter. Went out with the dogs. 
Nikolenka came to my quarters, and read me his notes on 
shooting.2 Though he possesses plenty of talent, his style 
is not good. He ought to abandon tales of shooting, 
and to pay attention, rather, to describing nature and 
manners, which are more varied, and go well in his hands. 
Neither read nor written. 

October s^th, — Read Histoire des Croisades, went shoot- 

1 To Mme. T. A. Ergolsky. ... In describing his infatuation 
for hunting and his unsatisfactory state of health Tolstoy adds : 
" Do not think I am concealing anything from you. I am strongly 
built but have always had weak health. . . . But it is an ill wind 
that blows nobody good : when I am not well I write more assidu- 
ously at the new novel I have begun. The story I sent to Petersburg 
has been published in the September number of the Sovremennik, 
1852, under the title Childhood : I signed it L. N. and no one save 
Nikolenka knows who its author is, nor do I wish it to become 
known." — Ed. 

^ Notes on Shooting were subsequently printed in the Sovremennik, 
under the title. Shooting in the Caucasus : " Narrative by N. N. T." 
On the title-page the author's name is given in full : " Narrative 
by Count Nikolay Nikolayevich Tolstoy." 

Tolstoy looked upon his brother N. N. as one possessed of great 
talent and thought he might become a great writer ; but he agreed 
with the words of Turgenev, who said that for this N. N. did not 
possess the chief failing needed : N. N. was not vain — ^he was quite 
indifferent to the opinion of others. Concerning this work Nekrasov 
wrote to Turgenev as follows (April 22, 1 851) : "... N.Tolstoy's 
narrative of shooting in the Caucasus. The Author is not to 
blame that this is not a story ; the task he set himself has been 
splendidly performed and, in addition, he has revealed himself as 
a poet. I have no time to write or I would have pointed out some 
passages which are wonderfully fresh and poetical. Poetry is 
here in its right place and it gleams through as one reads. I do 
not know whether the author possesses the creative talent, but 
his talent of observation and description is great — the figure of 
the old Cossack at the beginning has been barely touched upon 
and, what is important, it has not been rendered petty. One sees 
love of nature itself and of birds, and not merely of the description 


ing, slept after taking some salamat} and visited Niko- 
linka. The hour is late, but I will write a little. 

October 315^. — Last night and to-day wrote a little. 
One of my teeth is aching. Read over my story,^ now 
mutilated to the last degree. 

November 1st. — Went shooting with Nikolenka. Wrote 

November 2nd. — Went shooting with Nikolenka, and, 
when darkness arrived, chatted with Yapishka. 

November z^d. — Rode and walked shooting. Did 
nothing. Felt tired, and drank much chikhir.^ 

November 4th. — Went shooting with Nikolenka and 
Hilkovsky, and killed a hare. Dined, went for a ride 
with the dogs, and saw a fox. Sat with Nikolenka. 
SuHmovsky angered me. Listened to Yapishka, and now 
am going to bed. 

November ^th. — Received letters. Huge expenses have 
quite upset me. In the morning went shooting, killed a 
boar, and offended Yapishka. Everyone then sat in my 
quarters, and an incident with the new ens. (whom I Hke) 
made an impression upon me. Beersha's letter has forced 
me to reflect. Perhaps I shall write to her. 

November 6th. — Rode from daybreak to sunset. Visited 

of one and the other. It is a fine work. I do not know to what 
extent Leo N. has corrected the style, but it appears to me that the 
author has a firmer grasp of language than even L. N. himself. 
Being removed from literary circles also has its advantages, I 
am certain that the author, m writing, was not conscious of many- 
features, which I, when reading, admire ; this is not often met 
with. . . ." It was not until after the death of his brother N. N. 
that Tolstoy wrote to his brother Sergey Nikolayevich, in September, 
i860 : " Two days prior to his death he read me his Notes on 
Shooting.''' Unfortunately it is not clear to us whether the notes 
mentioned in this letter are the same as those of which we read in 
the Diary ; they were never published and remain unknown. — Ed. 

1 A Tartar word signifying a dish prepared from fruit juice 
thickened with starch. — Ed, 

2 Tolstoy had apparently just received the September number 
of the Sovremennik in which was inserted his first work. Childhood, 
signed L, N,, with the title changed by the editor to History of My 
Childhood. — Ed. 

^ A red Georgian wine. — Ed. 

206 THE DIARY OF _^ 


Ogolin,^ and had a chat with Epishka.^ Am lazy. Last 
night felt greatly depressed on the subject of Beersha's 
letter. Tried to write to her. To keep silence would be 
better, but saddening. 

November yth, — Spent the whole day in sport. Wounded 
a wild pig, which Yapishka subsequently dispatched. 
My throat is aching a little. 

November 8th. — Opened my folio, but entered nothing. 
Wrote to the Editor a letter which calmed me, but which 
I shall not dispatch. Went hunting, to the baths, and to 
my brother's, and appear to have caught a cold. 

November gth. — Walked and rode shooting, and killed 
a pheasant. Health is good, and I feel inclined to write. 

November loth. — Went shooting with Nikolenka, and 
killed a wild cat (?). Dined, and sat with Hilkovsky. 
Yanovich arrived. I am glad. 

November nth. — Went shooting with Nikolenka, and 
killed a deer. Attended a wedding. Etudes de mceurs ^ 
is not a success. 

November i2th. — In the morning visited Ilyaska and 
Hilkovsky. Rode out with the dogs, and killed 4 pheasants 
and a wild duck. In the evening felt greatly depressed. 
Wrote Dyakov a letter which I shall not dispatch. 

November n^th. — Drank a glassful ; then went out with 
the dogs. Rode till nightfall, drank more chikhir, visited 
Hilkovsky to pay him some money, and sat with him for 
two hours. Nikolenka grieves me greatly. Neither does 
he love me nor does he understand me. The strangest 
point in him is the fact that a great duty^ and a kind 
heart have produced in him nothing good ; he lacks a 
connecting bond between the two qualities. Well has 

^ Ogolin (?) should not be confused with Alexander Stepanovich 
Ogolin, public prosecutor and an old Kazan acquaintance of 
Tolstoy's, (Fi^e footnote on p. 78.) — Ed. 

2 Spelt thus in this entry; elsewhere in the copy it is spelt 
" Yapishka." — Ed. 

' A description of manners, probably of his milieu, which he 
evidently wished to depict in artistic form. — Ed. 

* Thus in the copy ; should it read " intellect " ? — Ed. 


Yapishka said that I am, as it were, a man who cannot be 
loved. Certainly I am conscious of this — that I can be 
agreeable to no one, and that all men are wearisome to 
me. For, when discussing any given subject, involun- 
tarily I let my eyes say things which would be pleasant 
for no one to hear, and make me feel ashamed of myself 
while saying them. 

November 14th. — In the morning wrote passably well. 
Went for a ride. In the evening Yanushkevich paid me 
a visit, and, despite his meanness and stupidity, I chatted 
with him with too little reserve. This isolation is killing 
me. Travel teaches one to discern in oneself and in others 
qualities always and ever3rwhere deserving of respect. 
Have drawn up a short formula of my creed ; as 
follows : 

" / believe in the one, good, and incomprehensible God, in 
the immortality of the soul, and in eternal recompense for 
our deeds. What though I do not understand the mysteries 
of the Trinity, and of the birth of the Son of God, I honour 
and do not reject the faith of my fathers.^' 

November i^th. — Went shooting, and killed a boar. 
Bulka got hurt. Suspicion and resentment against my 
brother are gone. 

November 16th. — Went out with M., and killed a pheasant 
and a partridge. [[4]]. Sat with my brother. Should like 
to write something. So until to-morrow. 

November lyth. — Spent the day at home, and wrote a 
little. Everything written is too carelessly coloured, 
but I shall be able to recast a good deal. To-morrow am 
going to Shelkovaya. Once more have written to Dyakov 
and the Editor letters which I shall not dispatch. The 
one to the Editor ^ is too harsh, and Dyakov will fail to 

* N. A. Nekrasov. We know that having received his story 
Childhood Tolstoy was dissatisfied that the title had been changed 
and considerable excisions made. Obviously he commenced several 
times to write to the " Editor," but could not make up his mind to 
dispatch his letter ; he considered it too " harsh." Finally, on 
Nov. 27, he wrote in reply to a letter received the day before from 
Nekrasov {vide footnote on p. 210). — Ed. 


understand me. Must grow accustomed to no one ever 
understanding me. It is a fate which must be common 
to all men who are not easy to get on with. 

November i8th. Paroboch. — Proceeded early to Paro- 
boch,i to visit S. All was pleasant. 

November igth. — Had poor sport. Quarrelled with my 

Nov. 20th, 2ist, 22nd, 22,rd, 24th, 2^th. Starogl. — Had 
very poor sport at Paroboch and Shelkovaya, but was in 
a good mood and was not bored. I chanced to have a 
talk with Nikolenka, in which I partially unfolded to him 
a part of the scheme of my life. Also I discussed meta- 
physics with N. S. 

Metaphysics are the science of thoughts which do not 
admit of expression in words. 

To-day I arrived home, and the stupid Sviridov called 
upon me. Last night wrote a little, passably well ; read 
a critique of my story ^ with unusual pleasure, and told 
Ogolin of the story. 

1 Paroboch. In the copy at the Editor's disposal stands the 
word " Nareb," evidently not deciphered by the copyist. . . . — Ed. 

2 At that time Tolstoy used to read the Bihlioteka dlya Chteniya 
and the Sovremennik, but as he was in communication with Moscow 
and Petersburg in all probability he also read the Moskvityanin 
and the Otechestvenniya Zapiski. Of the magazines enumerated 
above only the Moskvityanin and the Otechestvenniya Zapiski 
published reviews of that issue of the Sovremennik in which Tolstoy's 
first work appeared ; only in these could he have read reviews 
of his story. In view of the significant interest attached to the 
two first opinions of Tolstoy's talent we quote the following extracts : 

(i) In the October number of the Moskvityanin published by 
the academician M. P. Pogodin (vol. i., No. 19, Part I., October 1852), 
in the Review section is inserted the article : " The Sovremennik, 
Nos. viii. and ix.," signed with the initials " B. A." The article 
commenced as follows (p. 106) : " What has come over Russian 
literature ? It seems to be improving ; we again see pleasing 
signs ; concoctions bearing the stamp of the natural school appear 
with less and less frequency, while new literary workers, possessed 
of fresh strength and a healthy tendency, keep coming to the fore. 
Some of the better known writers are forsaking their false trend 
and entering upon the right path : in a word, there is a harvest 
in literature (and at the right time) . What we have said of litera- 
ture in general applies to the Sovremennik in particular, especially 
to its two last issues which we intend to survey here. In these 


two issues which contain splendid articles we have read the History 
of Ulyana Terentyevna, by Mr Nikolay M., and the History of My 
Childhood, by Mr L. N. . . ., etc, and all these articles made a 
very good impression upon us." 

On p. 130 we read : 

" We were much pleased with The History of My Childhood. 
Many traits of childhood are vividly portrayed. The story is 
permeated with warm feeling. . . . We cannot help rejoicing that 
latterly many novels and stories depicting childhood have com- 
menced to appear. The observations gathered by the writers con- 
cerning impressions of childhood can be made use of by psychology 
and even pedagogy." 

We have ascertained that Boris Nikolayevich Almazov (1827- 
1876) was the author of the article in the Moskvityanin ; he was 
fairly well known in his time as a publicist, poet, and a collaborator 
of the Moskvityanin until the end of the 'forties when it was 
suppressed. . . . By the way, he is the author of the poem "Truth," 
with which, at the end of the 'eighties, Tolstoy was much pleased. 
{Vide the Tolstoy Annual, 1913, Tolstoy'' shelters to V. G. Tchertkoff, 

P- 51.) 

(2) In the October issue of the Otechestvenniya Zapiski, a 
literary and scientific magazine published by A. A. Krayevsky, 
(vol. Ixxxiv., No 10, 1852) in section vi,, " Reviews," is inserted an 
unsigned article which mentions (on p. 84), amongst other things, 
a " remarkable article " which had appeared in No. 9 of the 
Sovremennik, entitled, History of My Childhood, by Mr L. N. We 
quote the following extract from this article by an unknown writer : 

" For long we have had no occasion to read a work which gives 
one such an impression of having been lived through, which is so 
nobly written, so permeated with sympathy and with those phe- 
nomena of reality which the author undertook to portray. The 
contents of the story are very simple : it describes that distant 
period which each of us recalls with a feeling of veneration, the 
period of childhood with all its bright joys and mild griefs — the 
period when we were still im werden (to use Goethe's expression). 
We would have liked to acquaint our readers with Mr L. N.'s work 
by quoting from it the best passage ; but there is no best in it : 
from beginning to end it is all truly beautiful. Let us read the 
first page that catches the eye." Here follows an extract begin- 
ning with the words : " The next day (after the mother's death) 
late in the evening . . ." and ending with the words : "... This 
selfish feeling more than anything else drowned the real grief 
within me " {vide chap, xvii., " Grief "). 

Further on we read (p. 85) : 

" How true are all the features in this fragment, and with what 
deep feeling the whole is permeated ! We would like to quote 
here the whole chapter, the beginning of which we have adduced : 
but we refer the reader to the History of My Childhood itself. If 
this is Mr L. N.'s first work we cannot refrain from congratulating 
Russian literature on the appearance of a new, remarkable talent." 


November 26th. — Went shooting with Ogolin, and sat 
with my brother. After dinner made a good start with 
writing, and received a letter from Nekrasov.^ Am to be 
paid 50 roubles a section. Without further procrastina- 
tion I intend to write a story which I began upon to-day. 
I am too ambitious to write badly and I doubt whether 
I am capable of writing another good work. [14]]. 

November 2yth. — Rose late, visited Nikolenka, and 
attended drill. Ogolin angered me with his stupidity. 
Went shooting with Hilkovsky, and wounded a hare. 
The Caucasian tale is making no progress. Wrote to 
Nekrasov,^ and feel reassured in that regard. I will set 
to work without haste upon something. 

^ The letter mentioned by Tolstoy in his Diary has been inserted 
in toto in Biryukov's Life (vol. i., pp. 219-221), In this letter 
Nekrasov replies, on Oct. 30th, to Tolstoy's question about money 
{vide footnote on p, 197) as follows : 

" Our best magazines have long made it a habit not to pay 
for the first story to a beginner who is being introduced to the 
public," and he offers Tolstoy the same conditions, promising to 
allow him a " better rate of pay " for further work, such as was 
given only to the "best-known writers of belles-lettres, that is to 
say, fifty roubles for every sixteen printed pages." Then Nekrasov 
adds : " We are obliged to know the name of every author. ... If 
it be your desire, no one but ourselves need know it." At the end 
Nekrasov repeats the request : " Send us something in the nature 
of a story, novel, or tale." — Ed. 

2 " Have written to N." It is evidently this letter of Tolstoy's 
to Nekrasov which is published in the book, The Archives of the 
Village of Karahikha (pp. 187-189) wrongly inscribed by the editor 
of the Archives : " Beginning of November 1852 " (it should read 
" End of November "). The letter is also mentioned in the Notes 
to the Archives (p. 299). In view of the considerable interest 
attached to this letter we quote nearly the whole, especially as it 
is little known to the public : 

" I much regret that I am unable to comply with your request 
to send you something else for publication in your magazine, 
especially as I find the conditions you offer me advantageous to 
myself and entirely agree to them. Although I have completed 
a few things I am unable to send you anything at present, firstly, 
because the certain degree of success of my first work has fired 
in me my author's ambition, and it is my desire that my sub- 
sequent works should not he inferior to the first. Secondly, 
the censor's excisions in Childhood compelled me to recast many 
passages so as to avoid a similar recurrence. Without mentioning 
small changes I shall note two which struck me most disagreeably. 


November zSth. — Had a horrible dream concerning 
Tatyana Alexandrovna. Rode out with Yapishka, caught 
nothing, visited my brother, and tried to write, though 
without success. For me to trifle my time away seems 
to be a thing of the past. Write^without aim, and 
without hope of advantage, I cannot. ([6]J. 

November 2gfh. — Went shooting field-duck. Visited the 
baths and Nikolenka. Received a letter from Yasnaya 
enclosing loo roubles. Will set about poUshing A Descrip- 
tion of War ^ and Boyhood.^ The book will take its course. 

November soth. — Have reflected much, but done nothing. 
To-morrow mornings hall set about recasting A Description 
of War, and, in the evening. Boyhood, which I have finally 
decided to continue. The 4 epochs of life constitute a 

They were the omission of the story of Natalia Savvishna's love 
which, to a certain extent, portrayed the life of olden times and its 
character and rendered her life-like, and the change in the title. 
The title Childhood and a few words in the short preface explained 
the idea of the work ; whereas the title, History of My Childhood, 
contradicts it. Who wants to be bothered with a history of my 
childhood 1 The alteration is especially disagreeable to me because, 
as I wrote you in my first letter, I wished Childhood to constitute 
the first part of a novel, the subsequent parts of which should be : 
" Boyhood," " Youth," and " Young Days." I must ask you, 
dear Sir, to give me your word with regard to future works, that 
you make no alterations at all, should it please you to insert them 
in your magazine. I hope you will not give me a refusal. For 
my own part, I repeat my promise to send you the first work I 
consider worthy of publication. I sign my name, but please let 
it be known to none but the editors." 

This is the first letter signed in full by the author : " Count 
L. N. Tolstoy." 

(The " Preface " mentioned in this letter was first published 
in Sytin's "Complete Works of L. N. Tolstoy," edited by P. I. 
Biryukov, vol. i., Moscow, 1913.) 

. In his Reminiscences Tolstoy says of " Natalia Savvishna " 
(vide Childhood, chap, xiii.) : "I have given a fairly accurate 
description of Praskovya Isayevna in Childhood under the name 
of Natalia Savvishna. AH I wrote of her is true. P. I. was a 
venerable personality, a housekeeper. . . ." In his letters Tolstoy 
referred to her as " Pashenka." — Ed. 

^ A series of sketches and tales of the Caucasus, the final version 
of one of which is entitled Incursion. We shall refer to it later 
on. — Ed. 

* Part II. of a large novel he had conceived, Part I. of which is 
Childhood. — Ed. 


novel of myself up to the period of Tiflis. I can write of 
it, for it stands far removed from me ; and, as the novel 
of a man intelligent, sensitive, and erring, it will be in- 
structive. Yet it will not be dogmatically so : whereas 
the novel of a Russian landowner shall be dogmatic. I 
am beginning to regret that I have given up my solitude, 
which was very sweet. Once upon a time my brother's 
influence did me good ; but now it is harmful, for it is 
rendering me unused both to activity and to thoughtful- 
ness. All, however, is for the best. I recognize this in 
my life. Great God, I thank Thee ! Abandon me 

December ist. — All day worked at A Description of War. 
Anything satirical I dislike ; and since the whole is written 
in a satirical spirit, the whole will have to be recast. Re- 
ceived a report : expenditure of 140 roubles has again been 
incurred. Have written Valerian on the subject. 

December 2nd. — Went shooting with my brother. 
Chatted with him, and read him A Description of War. 
Wrote a little, copied out a letter, and sent it with Aleshka 
and some other purchases. What a happy man I should 
have been if always I had been in as good a humour as 
to-day ! The rule which one ought to follow for happiness 
in life is to avoid everything that upsets one. 

December yd. — Wrote much. The work will, I think, 
be good, and devoid of sarcasm. Some inner sense in me 
cries out against sarcasm. Even to describe th^ evil 
aspects of a given class of persons, let alone of a personality, 
I find unpleasant. Kochkin and Bus. . . . [Buyem. ?] ^ are 
going on campaign. 

[15]]. I thank Thee, O God ! Abandon me not. 

^ " Kochkin and Busl.," perhaps Buyemsky. In Yanzhul's 
History of the 20th Artillery Brigade, amongst the officers enumerated 
as having taken part in the above-mentioned campaign are men- 
tioned : Second-Captain Kochkin of the 4th battery, and Ensign 
Buyemsky of the 5th battery. This confirms from a fresh aspect 
the assumption that Ensign Buyemsky is meant by the initial 
" B," the more so that no other officer whose name commences with 
" B " is mentioned in the list of participators in the campaign. 


December 4th. — Have written J a section. Am compos- 
ing the tale with some diffidence. Went hunting, and 
sent back the dogs. Abilez called, and I entrusted him 
with the training of a hawk, I know not why. 

December ^th. — Rode with s . . . ^ to fish. Wrote J a 
section. The tale will be passable. Received a nice 
letter from Serezha which I have answered. 

December 6th. — Attended mass. Settling accounts with 
Nikolenka made me cross. Remained indoors, and wrote 
about 2 sections. Drank hot punch, porter, and cham- 
pagne, and played at cards. Admired the respect cherished 
by the officers for Nikolenka, and the manner in which 
they make him an intermediary. 

December yth. — Rose late and rode out for foolish, futile 
sport with Sulimovsky, who called at my quarters. Could 
not write more than J of a section. All that I have written 
seems to me very poor. If I recast it, it will issue better, 
yet far from what I intended it to be. 

December 8th. — Went shooting, and fired 3 shots at a 
deer. Wrote a little, but without zest. The work is so 
poor that I shall try to finish it to-morrow, that I may 
undertake something else. 

December gth. — Went shooting. Snow fell. Wrote 2 
sections. Hope to finish the work to-morrow. 

December 10th. — Spent the day indoors, and finished 
the story. But shall have to recast it yet again. Visited 
Nikolenka. Maslov was there. Surprising how unto- 
ward is his every choice of friends ! Nevertheless Maslov ^ 
possesses a talent for telling things. Wrote to Serezha, 
and dispatched a letter to Dyakov. 

December nth. — Attended Levin's ^ review. Went for 
a ride. Feel decidedly ashamed of attending to such follies 
as my tales when I have begun upon such a splendid thing 

1 Dots in the copy, — Ed. 

2 Maslov. In Yanzhul's book, in the list of officers in 1853, 
is included Second-Captain Maslov, officer in charge of the remount 
of the second mountain battery, — Ed. 

^ Brigadier L. F. Levin, who took over the command of the 
20th brigade at the end of 1851. . . . — Ed. 


as The Novel of a Landowner} What use is money, or 
a foolish Hterary notoriety ? Better with conviction and 
absorption, to write something good and useful. Never 
will one grow weary of such work : and when I finish, 
provided I have life and virtue, there will be other work 
to do. 

December 12th. — Killed a boar. Rose early, and aroused 
everyone else. Was in excellent humour, despite Sulimovsky 
or Perep. or L . . . ^ 

December i^th. — Went shooting with Perep., and killed 
a wild pig and two woodcock. Spent the day to no 
purpose. Hence to-morrow I shall continue the novel 

December i^th, — Visited Alexeyev in order to talk of the 
expedition ; also my brother's quarters, where were P. 
and A. and S., with whom I went shooting field-duck. 
Spent the evening in dreaming and reflecting. Felt sad 
and oppressed, and was unhappy. My position is indeed 
a difficult one. Yet how can I not thank God for having 
permitted me to learn of the real happiness contained in 
the approval of conscience ? At the same time, one must 
not rely upon that happiness as upon a happiness of the 
flesh. It is comprehensible only for him who has experi- 
enced it — i.e. for him who constantly does good, and is 
on the way to meet it. Not to mention slight diversions 
from the path of goodness, I am doing evil in going cam- 
paigning. This may do more than all else to destroy the 
true happiness which I should experience. Yet so com- 
plicated have circumstances become as to convey the 
impression that Providence so wishes. I beseech Thee, 
O Lord, to reveal to me Thy will ! To be happy, one must 
constantly strive towards this happiness, and understand 
it. Not upon circumstances, but upon oneself, does it 

December 16th. — I have omitted yesterday, which, 

^ Probably The Morning of a Landowner {vide entries for July 18, 
and Oct. 19, 1852, and footnote on p. 186). — Ed. 

' In the copy both surnames are illegibly written. — Ed. 


by-the-way, was a day in no way remarkable, save that 
I have been struggHng with my stupid tale, and also been 
out shooting. Hilkovsky seems a poor hand at copying. 
At all events, if the tale is to be decent, I must copy it 
out once more myself. 

December lyth. — Went with Nikolenka in search of 
field-duck. Hilkovsky cannot copy, yet foolishly I was 
ashamed to tell him so. Am slothful, but must finish and 
dispatch the tale before the campaign begins. 

December iSth. — Began to write, but some officers arrived 
and hindered me. Went for a walk with them before 
dinner, and felt out of spirits. After dinner slept until 
dusk. Did some copying, and found that all will have to 
be recopied. Was foolish enough to give Glushkov 5 
roubles 15 kopecks, and not to put off Hilkovsky. 

December igfh. — Copied all day. Put off Hilkovsky. 
Glushkov is out of temper with me. I think that I have fever. 

December 20th. — Wrote. In the morning was hindered 
by Nikolenka and Sulimovsky. At dinner, as well as 
after dinner, Ladyzhensky,^ a bath, and Ladyzhensky 
again. Copied the whole of the second part, which seems 
good. — Received documents on the subject of Kopylov's 
debt. / promise myself to lend money to no one, save in 
case of dire physical necessity. 

December 21st. — Spent the day shooting. Saw nothing. 
Read a good article by Senkowski.^ 

1 There were two Ladyzhenskys in the 4th battery where Tolstoy 
served. Lieutenant Ladyzhensky is mentioned several times in 
Yanzhul's book, once in connection with the action of Feb. 18, to 
which Tolstoy refers in his entry of Feb. 28, 1852. — Ed. 

* Osip Julian Ivanovich Senkowski (1800-1858), orientalist, 
critic, and journalist. He was editor of the Bihlioteka dlya Chteniya 
and wrote under the noms-de-plume " Baron Brambeus " and 
" Tyutyundji-ogly." His articles enjoyed great popularity in 
their time and the Bihlioteka dlya Chteniya had a large circulation. 
Though a Pole by birth, he had no sympathies for Poland and was 
a cosmopolite. Some of his articles are interesting and evince 
talent, but most of them are distinguished for their frivolity and 
witticisms devoid of principle. Vide Biographical Notes by his 
wife, St Petersburg, 1858, The Editor has been unable to ascertain 
which of Senkowski's articles Tolstoy had been reading. — Ed, 


December 22nd. — Spent the day shooting. Am for ever 
quarrelling with Nikolenka. Copied out the beginning. 

December 23rd. — Went shooting, and killed a wild pig, 
a wild cat, and a hare. Throughout the evening friends 
disported themselves at my place. 

December 24th. — Christmas Eve. Finished the tale. 
It is not bad. 

December 2^th. — Visited Hrip, Alexeyev, and Hilkovsky 
— who has been promoted lieutenant-colonel. Spent the 
day in striving to kill time. 

December 26th. — Read Lermontov ^ for the third day. 
Visited Nikolenka. Saw Alexeyev. We are beginning 
to grow reconciled. Nevertheless, I was conscious of 
shyness. When shall I always, and in all circumstances, 
be completely free ? Have written nothing, but shall 
begin to-morrow without fail. Met, late, a Cossack hugging 
some Cossack women, and recalled with pleasure my 
carousals p]. — Especially the morning when one is taking 

^ Michael Yur. Lermontov, poet (181 4-1 841). We have reason 
to suppose that Tolstoy, on the days mentioned, was reading the 
novel Hero of Our Time, and was evidently deeply engrossed therein, 
as shown by this entry which he underlined. Later, on July 11, 
1854, he notes down : " Re-read Hero of Our Timey He had 
apparently read this work before and, most probably, for the first 
time in 1852. In Biryukov's Life of Tolstoy (vol. i., p. 148) is adduced 
a list of the works of various authors made out by Tolstoy himself 
as works which had greatly impressed him. Amongst these are : 
"Lermontov, Hero of Our Time, Taman, (impression) very great ^' 
(the italics are the Editor's). As we know, Tolstoy was not, as a 
rule, fascinated by poetry and evidently treated Lermontov's 
poems with more or less indifference. At about the same time 
(July, 1854) we come across the remark that he has read The Dying 
Gladiator and also a drama by Lermontov, but he expresses no 
opinion on these works. In his Life Biryukov quotes an extract 
from an article by Nazaryev (fellow-student of Tolstoy's) : " Having 
noticed that I was reading Lermontov's Demon Tolstoy spoke 
sarcastically of poetry in general. . . ." The novel, Hero of Our 
Time, appeared in book form in St Petersburg in 1840. Demon 
was first published in Russia at St Petersburg, in Lermontov's 
"Complete Works," 1860, edited by Dudyshkin; it had already 
appeared in Germany in 1857 [vide Brockhaus, Encyclopcsdia) ; 
for this reason we presume there is a mistake in Nazaryev's 
reminiscences. — Ed. 


one's departure. Dispatched the story ^ with SuHmovsky, 
and confided the secret to Mm. 

December 2yth. — Slept long ; then set to work at the 
Novel. Some of the officers hindered me. Went for 
a ride, and, on returning, read and wrote some verses.^ 
They came pretty easily, and will, I think, prove very 
useful for formation of style. I cannot refrain from work, 
thank God ! But literature is rubbish, and I should 
have liked to have set down here some rules and a scheme 
of estate-management. 

December 28th. — Went shooting with Nikolenka. Heard 
2 boars. My bad luck is astounding. Did nothing save 
drink with Yapishka. Am coming more and more to dislike 

^ Probably the story Incursion {vide entries for Nov. 30, Dec i, 
and following). Tolstoy wrote concerning it to N. A. Nekrasov 
(Dec. 26, 1852) : " I am sending you a short story ; if you are willing 
to publish it on the conditions I have laid down, will you have the 
kindness to comply also with the requests I am about to make : 
neither omit, add, nor, above all, alter anything. Should there 
be anything to which you take so much exception that you could 
not decide on publishing it without alteration, it would be prefer- 
able to put off publication and to discuss the matter with me. 
If, contrary to expectation, the censor should blot out too much 
of this story, please do not print it in its mutilated form but return 
it to me, . . . Please excuse the manuscript being badly and 
untidily written ; as it is, it cost me an awful lot of labour ! Await- 
ing your answer and your opinion of this story, I have the honour 
to remain, with profound respect, your obedient servant, Count 
L. Tolstoy. ..." 

Later, in May, Tolstoy wrote to his brother. Count S.N, Tolstoy : 
" Childhood has been ruined by the censor. All that was good in 
it has been either cut out or mutilated. . . ." Incursion, the story 
of a volunteer, signed " L. N.," was published in No. 3 of the Sovre- 
mennik in 1853. — Ed, 

2 Unfortunately no poems by Tolstoy of this period seem to have 
been preserved. We know of a small poem of a lyrical character, 
entered by him in his Diary at the end of 1854 {vide vol. ii,, Diary, 
" Youth "), two Sebastopol soldiers' songs, and several humorous 
poems written at different times, — Ed. 

3 Ogolin should read Agalin {vide footnote on p, 206), This 
entry confirms our conjecture that this person was one of Tolstoy's 
new Caucasian acquaintances, and that the opinion expressed 
cannot refer to his old friend Alexander Stepanovich Ogolin, 
whom Tolstoy had known well ever since he was a student {vide 


December 2gth. — Went shooting, and drank, but did not 
get drunk. A foolish life ! 

December '^oth. — In the morning some officers visited 
me. Had drinks all round in connection with the sale of 
Sultan, the horse. In the evening I wrote 30 stanzas 
passably well. 

December 315^. — From morning onwards there began 
a carousal at Hilkovsky's which continued in various 
places till 2 o'clock in the morning. 

footnote on p, 78). About three weeks later, in his entries for 
the following year, Tolstoy changes his opinion of this Caucasian 
acquaintance with whom he gradually becomes more intimate ; 
he posts the following entry : "I am getting to like Ogolin very 
much " {vide entry for Jan. 20, 1853, vol. ii., Diary, " Youth "). 

In addition, in Tolstoy's examination report, when he was pro- 
moted from gunner to officer, in 1854, amongst the three officers 
who signed this document there stands the name, " Lieutenant 
Agalin " (in this connection vide vol. ii., Diary, " Youth "). — Ed. 


On Music ^ 

(Fundamental Principles of Music, and Rules for 
its Study.) 

July 14, 1850. 

Definition of Music. 

Music is a combination of sounds differing, first, in regard 
to space, secondly, in regard to time. The space between 
two or more sounds I call the degree of rapidity at which 
the air vibrates, in consequence of some cause which cleaves 
it. The cause of the conception of space is movement ; 
movement necessitates the conception of points, or 

In a musical interval these two points are the higher 
and the lower notes, octaves, etc. — from do to re, from 
re to re, etc. One can imagine an endless interval, hence 
one can also imagine an endless number of octaves. In 
reality this interval is limited in various ways : partly 
by the construction of the human ear, partly by the con- 
struction of the instrument ; the flute, for instance, has 
five octaves ; the vioHn and the violoncello from six ro 
nine ; the pianoforte, according to its construction, from 
four to nine. 

1 L. N. Tolstoy's note was first published in the Tolstoy Annual, 
1913, p. 12, with the following editorial note : "From L. N. Tolstoy's 
notebooks. Printed from the copy made by the Countess S. A. 
Tolstoy, the original of which is in the Historical Museum at Moscow. 
The note was written by Tolstoy during the years when he was 
strongly fascinated by music and was receiving instruction from a 
man named Rudolf," — Ed. 



The time between two or more sounds I call the measure 
of their duration . . . ^ To indicate an interval the con- 
ception of movement from one point to another is required, 
as well as a conception of these two points. In a musical 
relation these two points will be the beginning and the 
end of some musical thought. One can also imagine time 
as endless, as one can space. In reaUty, time is limited 
partly by the property of one's fantasy and partly by 
the construction of the instrument. The duration of a 
sound depends upon the player, in the case of stringed 
instruments and in that of wind instruments. 

But in the case of instruments which emit sound in 
consequence of being struck by the finger or by some 
implement, such as the pianoforte, the dulcimer, cymbals, 
etc., the sound depends not on the player but on the quality 
of the instrument. 

Definition of Music. 

Music is a combination of sounds which strike the ear 
in three different ways : (i) in regard to space, (2) in 
regard to time, (3) in regard to force. 

Dec. lyth. — The word " music " has three meanings : 
(i) It denotes a fact, and, in this case, the above defini- 
tion applies ; (2) Music is a science, and, in this case, it 
means certain laws according to which sounds combine in 
three different ways ; (3) Music is an art by means of 
which sounds combine in these three different ways. 
Music has a fourth meaning — a musical meaning. Music 
in this sense is the means of exciting certain feelings and 
of transmitting them through the medium of sounds. 

Musical Analysis 

For a real study of music I find it necessary that the 
student, after having studied the first rules of music, i.e. 
of notes and intervals, of time and accentuation, should 

1 Undecipherable, — Ed. 


analyze music. That is to say, he should regard a musical 
composition in the Ught of certain rules, of science, in 
accordance with the part of music he has been through. 
He who has been through the whole course of the science 
of music should analyze music as fol^pws : (i) in regard to 
space — each sound separately, i.e. what interval constitutes 
one sound with the tonic; (2) in regard to time — each sound 
separately in connection with the whole bar, i.e. as to 
what part of the whole bar the sound constitutes ; (3) in 
regard to force — as to what is the degree of each sound in 
relation to the force fixed for the whole piece. Will this 
constitute, so to say, the inferior meaning ? ^ 

The next stage in the analysis : the course of the com- 
bination of sounds, i.e. of chords, is to be examined in 
relation to space, whilst observing the rules and divisions 
adopted in the chord. In this analysis one should only 
examine the motif, and if several motifs have been com- 
bined, then each one separately. 

In relation to time, the mutual connection between 
sounds and time is to be examined. There exists no rule 
for this. 

In regard to force, the mutual connection between sounds 
in regard to force is to be examined. There exist no 
rules for this. 

The higher stage in the analysis is that which examines 
all the periods from one tonic to another, from one tempo 
to another, from one accentuation to another. For each 
kind of accentuation I have invented not verbal expres- 
sions but signs which will constitute a translation for 
people who practise, so that in order to translate they 
will have to understand what they translate . . . 

^ The point of interrogation has been crossed out in the 
original. — Ed. 


Concerning L. N. Tolstoy's Testamentary 

During the years which have elapsed since Leo Nikolaye- 
vich Tolstoy's death there have arisen so many distorted, 
even invented, tales concerning his directions with regard 
to the pubUcation of documents extant at his decease 
that the pubHc will have formed a very wrong — or, 
at all events, a confused — ^idea of the matter. So far I 
have, unless compelled, forborne to contradict singly the 
malicious inventions of all kinds which have been sedu- 
lously propagated both orally and in the press, in the 
beUef that at the proper time, when the actual facts should 
come to be made known on the basis of existent material, 
the truth would prevail ; but, now that I am entering 
upon the publication of Tolstoy's Diary, which he entrusted 
to my care, I consider that maintenance of silence with 
regard to certain facts is no longer possible, but that I 
must impart to the reading pubHc, in general outline, the 
instructions and credentials with which Tolstoy furnished 
me and on the basis of which I am now acting. Neverthe- 
less, being desirous of obviating any polemical discussion^ 
I will confine myself solely to such items as are necessary 
for explaining both Tolstoy's testamentary directions and 
the occurrences which, after his death, took place with 
regard to them. 

From the period when, in the early eighties, Tolstoy 
revised his views of Ufe, and changed his attitude towards 
Uterary property, he more than once expressed certain 
wishes, and gave certain directions, concerning the rights, 
both Hfe and posthumous, vested in publication of his 



For instance, on September i6th, 1891, he addressed to 
the editor of the Russkiya Vedomosti the following letter : 

'' Dear sir, in consequence of frequent inquiries concern- 
ing my permission to pubHsh, translate, and stage my 
works, I beg of you to accord a place in the journal over 
which you preside to the following declaration : 

" Herewith I confer upon all who may desire to possess 
the same the right to pubHsh gratis, both in Russia and 
abroad, both in the Russian language and in translation, 
and also to present on the stage, not only such of my 
works as have been written since the year 1881, and 
printed in volume xii. pubHshed this year (1891), but also 
such of my works as, not yet pubUshed in Russia, may 
there be issued hereafter, L. TOLSTOY." 

Later, in personal conversation with me, as well as in 
his Diary and private letters, Tolstoy made further allusions 
to the posthumous disposal of his writings. 

Already the press has published a pertinent extract from 
his Diary for March 27th, 1895,^ and, in the same con- 
nection, Tolstoy has written in his Diary for February 4th, 
1909 : " Herewith I request that, after my death, my 
heirs shall present the land to the peasantry and surrender 
my works — not merely those of them which I myself have 
so surrendered, but all, without exception — ^to the public 
use. Or, should the same my heirs decide to omit fulfil- 
ment of both these posthumous requests, at least let them 
fulfil the first. Though it will be better — even for them — 
that the requests should in each case be fulfilled." 

In neither of these entries does Tolstoy express his 
wishes with regard to his writings of the first period in 
the form of a categorical injunction. Rather, he states 
those wishes and no more, while adding to the first 
extract a clause merely expressing his request, but not 
framed in the form of an express testamentary command. 
On the other hand, he never ceased to insist emphatically 

1 Vide at the end of this Appendix, under A, the complete text 
of this entry, which was first published in the Tolstoy an Annual 
for 1912. 


upon the press declaration (regarding his writings of the 
second period) to which I have referred above ; and further 
testimony is borne to this by the following entry in the 
Diary for March 8th, 1909 : ** In confirmation of what 
I wrote in this Diary on February 4th of the present year, 
to the effect that I desire that after my death my heirs 
shall surrender my works to the public use, I herewith 
explain, for the avoidance of any misunderstandings, 
that the works indicated therein are those my works which 
were published before the year 1881, and that everything 
since written, or already written but not pubHshed, before 
the said year 1881, has been surrendered to the pubHc 
use by myself in perpetuity, and that my heirs will there- 
fore not be at Hberty to exercise any proprietorship or 
control over the same." 

From these two entries it is clear that, in connection 
with his writings, Tolstoy's prime care was to insure that, 
after his death, his heirs should be debarred from asserting 
any copyright in his works, and compelled to make of 
the same common property ; also, that his posthumous 
works, and more especially his Diary, should be pubHshed 
only after such a careful editorial revision as should insure 
that, as he himself once expressed it, there should be 
preserved nothing which ought not to be retained, and 
there should be rejected nothing the retention of which 
was necessary. 

These factors led Tolstoy to decide to appoint as 
his " literary executor " some person whom he could 
without misgiving empower to examine, to edit, and to 
pubhsh any such documents as might be extant at his 

On February 28th, 1900, therefore, he wrote to me 
in England : ** I know that no one maintains towards my 
spiritual life and its manifestations such an attitude of 
almost exaggerated love and respect as is maintained by 
yourself. This I never fail both to say and to write ; 
and I have included mention of it also^ in a note which, 
as formulative of my posthumous wishes, requests you, 


and none but you, to undertake the sifting of my 

In 1904 — seven years after my previous meeting with 
Tolstoy, and when I was residing in England, during the 
period of my exile from Russia — I received the subjoined 
letter ; and though its contents are of a nature to render 
their publication a trifle embarrassing to me, I feel that, 
owing to the fullness and consecutiveness of what was 
therein stated for my information, I have no choice in the 

" May 13/26, 1904. 

" My dear friend Vladimir Grigoryevich, 

" In 1895 I wrote something in the nature of a 
wiU. That is to say, I expressed to my friends about me 
my wishes concerning the manner in which they should 
treat anything which might survive my death. And in 
the same document I stated that I requested my wife, 
Strakhov, and yourself, to sort and to scrutinize all my 
papers, and that this request I made of yourself in 
particular for the reason that I knew both your great 
love for me and the moral delicacy which would indicate 
to you what ought to be rejected, and what ought to be 
retained, and the best time and place and form of publi- 
cation. To this I might have added that I reposed in 
you the more confidence in that previously I had realized 
your sound judgment and conscientiousness in such 
labour, and above all things, our complete agreement as 
regards the religious understanding of life. 

" At the time I intimated to you not a word of this ; 
but now, some nine years later, when Strakhov is no 
more, and my own death cannot be very far off, I feel that 
the omission ought to be repaired, and personal expression 
made to you of what I then wrote, with a repetition of 
the fact that I beg of you to undertake the labour of ex- 
amining and sorting such papers as shall be extant at 
my decease, and, in co-operation with my wife, to deal 
with them as you may think best. 

" Certain papers you have already in your possession ; 


while as regards those which you do not possess, I feel 
sure that my wife — or, should she predecease yourself; 
my children — will not refuse to fulfil my wish by com- 
municating to you the remaining documents, and joining 
you in deciding what should be done with them. 

" To tell you the truth, to none of these papers (save 
only to the Diary for my later years) do I attribute the 
least importance ; I look upon any use which may be 
made of them as a matter quite indifferent to me ; but 
the Diary (provided that in the meanwhile I shall not 
succeed in expressing what I have written therein more 
clearly and exactly) may be of some importance, if only 
for the fragmentary reflections which I have set forth 
therein. And therefore its pubhcation, if first you will 
excise anything of a nature either casual or superfluous 
or obscure, may prove of use to men. That you will 
carry out this commission with the same abiHty as hitherto 
you have displayed when making extracts from unpub- 
lished writings of mine I both hope and request. 

'' I thank you for your past labours in connection with 
my writings, and also, in anticipation, for the manner in 
which, as I well know, you will treat any documents which 
may survive me. The unity existent between us has 
constituted one of the greatest joys of my life's closing 
years. LEO TOLSTOY." 

A few years later, however, Tolstoy found it necessary 
to secure fulfilment of his will by framing dispositions 
more definite in character ; and in that direction he took 
the first step in the summer of 1909, when to his kinsman, 
Ivan Vasilyevich Denisenko, president of the Assize Court 
of Novocherkask (who happened to be visiting Yasnaya 
Polyana at the time), he addressed a request that Denisenko 
should draw up for him a document designed to devote 
the right of publication of all his works, without exception, 
to the public use. That such a document would have no 
legal binding force upon Tolstoy's heirs L V. Denisenko 
clearly foresaw; but nevertheless he consented to assist him. 


When, in Tolstoy's letter to me of May 13th, 1904, quoted 
above, as also in his Diary for March 27th, 1895, he en- 
trusted the posthumous disposal of his papers to his wife 
and myself, it was in the beUef that she and her children 
(whom also he mentioned) would afford me the necessary 
assistance in the task of examining and sorting the docu- 
ments in question ; but during the next few years there 
came to his knowledge circumstances which convinced 
him that it would be better to entrust the disposal of his 
documents after his death exclusively to a person who 
should in every way share his views regarding Hterary 
ownership, and at the same time be free from any partiaHty 
of a personal or family character. Hence Tolstoy decided 
to have recourse to a will of the following tenour : 


" Herewith I declare that I desire those of my com- 
positions, literary productions, and writings of every 
kind, whether published or unpublished, which have been 
written, or have attained first pubhcation, since the first 
day of January 1881, as also those of them which were 
written previously thereto, but have not yet attained 
publication, to constitute, after my death, no person's 
private property, but to be freely publishable and re- 
pubUshable by all who may desire so to use them. I 
desire that all manuscripts and documents extant at the 
time of my death shall be handed to Vladimir Grigorye- 
vich Tchertkoff, to the end that, after my decease, he may 
dispose of them as heretofore, and that they may be freely 
accessible to all who may desire to make use of them for 
publication. I request Vladimir Grigoryevich Tchertkoff 
to select such person or persons as, in the event of his 
decease, he may entrust with the fulfilment of these my 
behests. LEO NIKOLAYEVICH TOLSTOY, Krekshino, 
September i8th, 1909." 

" On the occasion of the signing of the above there were 
present, and do certify that, during the composition 


thereof, Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy was in his right mind 
and in the full enjoyment of his faculties, Alexander 
Borisovich Goldenweiser, artist, Alexis Petrovich Ser- 
geyenko, burgess, and Alexander Vasilyevich Kalachev, 

" The foregoing was inscribed by Alexandra Tolstoy." 

This will, too, proved unsatisfactory, both in substance 
and in form. It was desirable to frame the will, from the 
juridical point of view, in such a way as to forestall, as 
far as possible, any occasion of legal suit. And the more 
so because, according to Russian law, property is be- 
queathable to none save a specified juridical personage, 
whereas Tolstoy's will which expressed the wish that his 
writings should after his death constitute " no person's 
private property " failed to succeed in its purpose. More- 
over, even the wording of the above was not such as to 
satisfy all the necessary formahties. 

Hence Tolstoy had to choose between two courses : 
to rest content with the will which he had made — a course 
practically certain to give rise to legal proceedings against 
the persons to whom he had entrusted the execution of 
his will, and Hkely even to cause the dispositions them- 
selves to prove of no effect, or to commission experts to 
frame his dispositions in such a manner as to render the 
will even juridically unassailable. 

Naturally, recourse to the external formulary of an 
official testament was distasteful to Tolstoy ; yet he feared 
lest, by making pedantic display of aversion to that 
formulary, he should run the risk of having his writings 
prevented from becoming public property after his death. 
Also, inasmuch as the juridical formulary was, in this case, 
required not to facilitate suits and legal proceedings, 
but rather, to obviate them, this last consideration finally 
decided Tolstoy (to whom, for all his radical views, petty 
pedantry was in no way natural) to indite such a will 
as should satisfy every external requirement of officialdom. 

On the fresh will being drafted, there was made, at my 
request, an alteration, in that, without dechning the re- 


sponsible charge which Tolstoy had laid upon me — ^the 
charge that after his death I should act as trustee of his 
writings — I had no desire to assume the position of the 
" juridical " heir. Hence I begged of him to choose for 
the purpose such members of his family as he could best 
trust in the matter. This unwillingness of mine to figure 
as the juridical heir was due, I may say, to more than 
one consideration. I felt certain that Tolstoy's wife and 
children would not Hke to see a non-member of their family 
made the official legatee ; I also foresaw some compli- 
cated negotiations with the family in the matter of 
Tolstoy's desiderated redemption of the Yasnaya Polyana 
estate for transference to the local peasantry ; I knew 
that these negotiations with the owners of the land 
could be most conveniently conducted by a representative 
of the family ; and, lastly, I was influenced by motives 
of a purely personal character. 

Therefore, in the final version of the will, Tolstoy named 
as his official heir his youngest daughter, the Countess 
Alexandra Lvovna Tolstoy, whom he trusted completely, 
and to whom he could entrust the task of protecting 
his literary bequest from any attempt to convert it into 
an exclusive property. Indeed, all three of us looked 
upon the arrangement as destined to confine Countess 
Alexandra's task to that of securing to me unhindered 
disposal of Tolstoy's Uterary legacy according to the 
directions which I had received from him in that respect ; 
and under the same conditions it was that Tolstoy now 
indited the "domestic will" which has more than once 
made its appearance in print .^ 

At the same time Tolstoy also requested me to draw 
up a private explanatory document which should both 
define his actual relation towards his ** juridical " will 
and formulate directions for our — for Countess Alexandra's 
and my own — guidance. Wherefore I drafted this docu- 
ment also in accordance with instructions then given 
me by Tolstoy, and handed it to him on the same day that 
1 Its text is inserted at the end of this Appendix, under B. 


the testament likewise was composed. After carefully 
reading it through, he handed it me back for final in- 
scription, with a request that I should add a couple of 
corrections which he indicated.^ Indeed, so great was 
the importance which he attached to this supplementary 
statement of his actual dispositions concerning the posthu- 
mous disposal of his writings that during the next few 
days he more than once reminded me of the document, and 
begged of me to hasten its final transcription. ^ 

In charging me to compose the document in question 
according to his personal instructions, Tolstoy took it for 
granted that its wording would be framed in the first 
person, and therefore prepared to copy it out with his 
own hand ; but inasmuch as, under the circumstances, 
the third person appeared to me more natural, I ventured 
to adopt the latter form of inditement. Also, I was in- 
fluenced by a desire to save Tolstoy (who had already made 
three autograph copies of the official will) the superfluous 
labour of fair-copying also the supplementary document. 
I was aware that, even as a juiidically framed wiU 
demands the most exact fulfilment of its conditions, 
so, or to a still greater degree, does any definitely 
expressed disposition which happens to be founded solely 
upon personal delegation : yet I looked upon it as a matter 
of indifference what hand should execute, or what form 
should rule, the declaration, so long as its contents were 
supported by Tolstoy's own signature. Since its 
directions had been drawn up for the guidance only of 
Countess Alexandra and myself, Tolstoy, for his part, felt 
quite certain that, even in this form, we should reUgiously 
observe his last will and testament, and never permit 
ourselves the least departure from its provisions. 

^ One of these corrections was a statement that he bequeathed 
to the public use everything which he had ever written ; not 
merely what he had written subsequently to 1881, as I had formu- 
lated in my rough draft of the document. 

2 For instance, on July 29, I received a note from the Countess 
Alexandra in which she wrote : 

" My father requests you to get ready the document in which 
he entrusts you with the disposal of his unpublished works." 


I will quote in full this unpublished explanatory note 
to Tolstoy's will : 

" Inasmuch as L. N. Tolstoy has indited a testament 
whereby he bequeathes the whole of his writings to the 
* possession ' of his daughter Alexandra Lvovna Tolstoy, 
or, in the event of her predeceasing him, to that of 
Tatyana Lvovna Sukhotin, it is necessary herewith to 
state, firstly, the reason which has prompted him, while 
not recognizing property of any kind, to compose such 
a will, and, secondly, the manner in which he desires his 
writings to be treated after his death. 

" The reason of his resorting to a ' formal ' will of 
juridical force is, not a desire to affirm any sort of property 
in his writings, but, on the contrary, a desire to forestall 
any possibihty of those writings being converted, after 
his death, into private property. 

" If the persons to whom Tolstoy has entrusted the dis- 
posal of his writings, according to his instructions, are to 
be safeguarded from the possibility of being deprived of 
the writings in question in virtue of the laws of inheri- 
tance, there lies open to L. N. only one resource : the 
resource of inditing a juridically framed testament in 
favour of those persons, in that he feels sure that to his 
instructions with regard to the disposal of his writings they 
wiU accord precise performance. Therefore the sole 
purpose of the ' formal ' will framed by him is to prevent 
any claim to a juridical right in L. N.'s compositions 
being put forward by any member of his family, should 
any such member, in contempt of L. N.'s wishes with 
regard to his Hterary compositions, seek to convert the 
same into his or her personal property. 

'* L. N.'s wishes with regard to his writings are as 
follows : 

" (i) That his compositions, literary productions, and 
writings of every kind, published or unpubHshed, shall, 
after his death, constitute the private property of no person 
whatsoever, but remain publishable and republishable by all 
who may desire to use them for the purpose. 


" (2) That all manuscripts and papers (including diaries, 
rough drafts, letters, etc., etc.), which shall be extant at 
the time of his death shall be handed to V. G. Tchertkoff, 
in order that, after the death of L. N., V. G, Tchertkoff 
may set himself to examine such documents, and to publish 
that in them which he may consider suitable. As regards 
the material aspect, L. N. requests the said V. G. Tchertkoff 
to transact all business in connection with the same on 
the principles on which he has before published writings 
of L. N.'s, during the Hfetime of the latter.^ 

" (3) That V. G. Tchertkoff shall select a person or 
persons to whom, in the event of his decease, he may 
delegate power to act in his stead ; and that, with a view 
to their own decease, the said person or persons shall 
do Ukewise ; and so on until the need shall no longer exist. 

" (4) That the persons to whom L. N. has bequeathed 
' formal ' property in his writings shall re-bequeath that 
property to persons selected in agreement either with V. G. 
Tchertkoff or with such his delegates as may succeed to 
his powers. And the same until the need shall no longer 

To the original of the foregoing Tolstoy himself added : 

*' With the contents of this declaration, which has heen 
drafted at my request, and which precisely expresses my 
wishes, I am wholly in agreement. LEO TOLSTOY , July 
-^ist, 1910." 

This " juridical " will of July 22nd, 1910, proved suc- 
cessful in so far as that the instrument encountered no 
protest. Owing to the fact that Tolstoy's legatee, in 
consequence, was enabled soon after his death to take 
steps in regard to the legacy, all L. N.'s pubHshed writings 
have become the property of mankind in general, while at 

^ By these words, dictated by L. N. himself, in order to safe- 
guard me in the future from any insinuating remarks — as he put 
it to his friends — ^he meant that, when disposing of the profits 
derived from future pubhcations, I should apply them as I did 
during his lifetime, to objects with which he was in sympathy. — 
Vide A. P. Sergeyenko's Reminiscences : " How L. N. Tolstoy 
wrote his Will." 


the same time, the peasantry of Yasnaya Poly ana have 
been admitted to possession of the lands allotted them 
under the will, and redeemed from Tolstoy's heirs through 
the income derived from publication of Tolstoy's literary 

Unfortunately, however, there has not yet been fulfilled 
one of the will's most essential provisions : namely, that 
all papers extant at Tolstoy's death, no matter wheresoever 
or by whomsoever preserved, should be handed to his 
daughter, the Countess A. L. Tolstoy. Among these 
papers are included certain documents which Countess 
Sophia Andreyevna Tolstoy abstracted during her 
husband's Hfetime, for lodgment and preservation in 
the Historical Museum at Moscow ; wherefore, to circum- 
vent L. N.'s directions, there became set on foot a 
mendacious assertion that the diaries and other papers 
thus preserved in the Historical Museum — certain originals 
of the diary, and others — had presumably been given by 
Tolstoy to his wife. Thanks to this assertion, the 
opponents of Tolstoy's wishes gained an artificial excuse 
for juridical cavilling. When the Countess Alexandra made 
application successively to the Director of the Museum, 
to the Ministry of Popular Instruction, and, finally, to 
his Imperial Majesty himself, for surrender of the docu- 
ments bequeathed to her by her father, she was in each 
case informed that they could not be surrendered, in 
that her mother claimed a similar right in the same ; while 
also it was intimated to her that no decision in the disputed 
question could be arrived at save through the medium of 
a court of arbitration, mutual agreement between the 
parties, or a judicial procedure of the ordinary kind. 
Accordingly Countess Alexandra first proposed a court of 
arbitration, but was met by her mother with a refusal. 
Next, she proposed mutual agreement, while offering to 
forego all rights of property in the originals of the Museum 
documents, so long as she could have photographic copies 
of them ; but this Ukewise was refused. Lastly remained 
only the method pointed out to Countess Alexandra of 


bringing a legal suit against her mother, but this was a 
resource to which, for moral reasons, Countess Alexandra 
was reluctant to resort, while, in addition, it would have 
contradicted the fundamental purpose, indicated above, 
for which her father had framed his will in juridical form. 
Meanwhile the Senate, to which, for her part, Tolstoy's 
widow had appealed against a similar rebuff on the part 
of the Ministry of Popular Instruction, found that the 
Historical Museum had exceeded its powers in undertaking 
to preserve papers lodged with it by a private individual ; 
also that those papers could be returned to none but their 
depositor. But this Senatorial decree only touched upon 
the formal question of who should be the custodian of the 
documents until a decision should be attained through 
legal process ; while there was left altogether untouched — 
at all events in essence — the question of who, under 
Tolstoy's will, was the owner of the documents.^ Hence 
certain statements which have since appeared in the press, 
to the effect that, for all intents and purposes, the Senate 
decided the question of right of ownership in the docu- 
ments in favour of the Countess Sophia, have been sheer 
inventions ; for it is a question which could only be 
decided by a legal suit wherein the circumstances of the case 
would unavoidably be made pubhc and the public would 
learn both the fact that the documents preserved in the 
Historical Museum were really bequeathed to the Countess 
Alexandra by her father and the reason why Tolstoy had 
deemed it necessary to deal with them in such a manner. 
But if respect for her father's memory deterred the Countess 
Alexandra from resorting to a legal suit, this in no way alters 

1 In the official explanation of Jan. 8, 191 5, which we received 
it is stated that " the decision of a plenary sitting of the governing 
Senate . . . does not touch upon the question of the right of 
the parties to Count L. N, Tolstoy's manuscripts, but has been 
given as an administrative order in consequence of Countess S. A. 
Tolstoy's petition concerning the action of the administration of 
the Imperial Russian Historical Museum " ; and that " the 
Countess A. L. Tolstoy is still at liberty to take the course indicated 
by His Imperial Majesty for settling the dispute with her mother," 
i.e. that of appealing to a court of law. 


the fact that the documents, though still in the hands of 
the Countess Sophia, belong, under Tolstoy's will, to the 
Countess Alexandra, and that the Countess Alexandra 
in still greater degree possesses the right of pubhshing 
the documents — a right which no one has ever disputed. 

The foregoing will make it clear that, in entrusting 
substantiation of his last wishes to Ms youngest daughter 
and myself, Tolstoy explicitly and expressly indicated 
what were to be our respective r61es after his death. 
To his daughter he delegated the position of " juridical " 
heir, in that he looked upon her as the most suitable 
person to whom he could entrust protection of his Uterary 
heritage from its conversion into private property ; to 
myself he committed the scrutiny and revision of any 
surviving documents, and also their pubHcation '' on the 
principles " whereon I had pubUshed his writings during 
his lifetime. 

Thus, the alterations which Tolstoy made in his testa- 
mentary dispositions at different times render it clear that 
never at any time did his mind conceive a substantial 
doubt in this connection; that, on the contrary, we see these 
alterations to have flowed naturally and inevitably from 
a fixed intention to accomplish the task confronting him. 
Which aim — an absolutely definite one — was to secure 
that, after his death, his writings should become public 
property, as well as that first publication of his hitherto 
unpublished works should be carried through in accord- 
ance with instructions which he had given. Hence on 
changes of circumstances taking place, and new and un- 
looked-for obstacles to the substantiation of his aim 
reveahng themselves, he, naturally, found himself forced 
to alter his dispositions to meet the external situation by 
seeking to forestall any future infringement of his 

Also, besides the written dispositions which I have 
quoted, Tolstoy on many occasions furnished me, scrip- 
torily and by word of mouth, with certain instructions 
concerning the posthumous pubUcation of his unpubHshed 


writings, as well as expressed certain definite wishes which, 
I need hardly say, I shall carry out to the letter during 
fulfilment of the task bequeathed to me. 

The foregoing, then, is a statement, in general outhne, 
of the dispositions, directions, and powers with which L. N. 
Tolstoy authorized me to the course which I am pursuing, 
together with some of the obstacles which I have en- 
countered during substantiation of his desires. 



Tolstoy's Will according to the Entry in the 
Diary for March 27TH, 1895. 

/ should frame my testament approximately thus (unless 
in the meanwhile I should write another one, it would run 
precisely as follows) : 

(i) I desire to be buried wheresoever I may die, and in 
the cheapest possible burial ground (if my death should 
occur in a town), and in the cheapest possible coffin, such 
as is used for paupers. And I desire no flowers or wreaths 
to be laid upon me, and no speeches to be recited. And, 
if possible, let there be neither priest nor requiem. But 
if the latter course should offend those who arrange for my 
funeral, then let me be buried in the ordinary way, with 
a requiem — ^though, even then, as simply and cheaply as 

(2) I desire no notices of my death to be printed in the 
papers, nor any obituaries to be composed. 

(3) I request that all my papers may, for revision and 
assortment, be handed to my wife, to (VI. Gr.) Tchertkoff, 
to Strakhov [and to my daughters Tanya and Masha],^ 
(what has been crossed through I have crossed through 
myself. It is better that my daughters should take no 
part in this matter), or to such of the persons named as 
shall then be ahve. I exclude my sons from this charge, 

^ In the original the words enclosed in square brackets were 
erased — Ed. 


not because I have failed to love them (indeed, of latter 
days, I have, glory be to God, come to love them more 
and more), and to know that my love is returned, but 
because they are not fully conversant with my ideas, nor 
have kept pace with them, and may hold ideas of their 
own which might lead them to preserve what had best 
not be preserved, and to reject what ought to be 
preserved. As for the diaries of my bachelor life, I 
desire that there shall be extracted thence anything that 
may be worthy, and that the diaries themselves shall be 
destroyed ; while as regards the diaries of my married life, 
I desire the destruction of everything in them of which 
the publication might give pain to any person whatsoever. 

This service Tchertkoff has already, during my lifetime, 
promised to perform : and, in view of his great, as well as 
unmerited, love for me, as also of his great moral 
sensibiHty, I feel sure that the service will be excellently 

I pray that the Diary of my single Hfe be destroyed 
not because I wish to hide my bad life from men — my 
life was the habitual worthless life of young men devoid 
of principles ; but I express this wish because my Diary, 
in which I have entered only that which tormented me 
with a consciousness of sin, produces a false, one-sided 
impression, and represents . . . Well, never mind ; let the 
Diary remain as it is. It will show at least that, in spite 
of all the banality and vileness of my youth I was not 
deserted of God, and that, in my old age, I have, at least 
to a certain extent, come to comprehend Him and to love 

All this I write, not for the purpose of attributing to my 
papers any great measure of importance, indeed any 
importance whatever, but because in advance I know 
that in the years immediately following my death, my 
works will be published and criticized and deemed im- 
portant. Should this be the case, my writings should at 
least do men no harm. 

As regards the remainder of my papers, I beg those 


persons who may do the sifting of the same to pubHsh 
them not in their entirety, but in such part thereof as 
may be of use to men. 

(4) With regard to the right of pubHshing former works 
of mine — those contained in the ten volumes and in the 
" Reader " — I herewith request you, my heirs, to 
transfer that right to the community, i.e. to renounce 
your author's right in the same.^ But this I only request, 
I do not formulate it as a testamentary injunction. It 
would be well to carry it out ; it would be also good for 
you ; it would concern yourselves and no one else, should 
you not carry it out. It would mean that you were not 
ready to carry it out. The fact that my works have for 
ten years past been sold has constituted the most 
oppressive factor of my existence. 

(5) Above all I do request everyone, near to me or 
remote, to refrain from lauding me (though I know that 
this will be done, seeing that it has even been done, and in 
most unseemly fashion, during my hfetime), but, if persons 
should wish to occupy themselves with my works, let 
them reflect on such passages wherein the might of God 
has, I know, spoken through me, and to utilize the same 
towards their own Hves. For there have been times when 
I have felt myself to be the exponent of God's will ; and 
though at many of those times I have been so impure, 
so charged with personal passion, as to overshadow the 
light of truth with my own darkness, the way of truth has 
occasionally lain through me, and rendered those moments 
the happiest of my life. May God grant that truth's 
passage through myself may have brought no defilement 
upon truth, that in spite of a petty and unclean character 
it may have acquired from me, man may be nourished 

1 Tolstoy is referring only to the works of his first period — works 
written before the year 1881, because during his lifetime for the 
publication of these he had accorded his wife a temporary war- 
rant ; but with regard to works written since the year 1881 he 
had, prior to this (in 1891), put the same through a press declara- 
tion {vide " Appendix II.") at the disposal of the general public. 


So herein alone lies the significance of my writings. 
Wherefore it is blame that I deserve for them, not praise. 
That is all. Signature. 


The Text of Tolstoy's Autograph Will, as 

Admitted to Probate by the District Court of Tula 

on November i6th, 1910. 

In the year one thousand nine hundred and ten. On 
the twenty-second (22nd) day of July, I, the under- 
signed, being of sound mind and assured memory, do, 
against my decease, make the following disposition. My 
Hterary productions, whether heretofore written or to be 
written before my death, whether pubHshed or unpub- 
lished, whether artistic or otherwise, whether finished 
or unfinished, whether dramatic or cast in any other 
form, together with any translations, revisions, diaries, 
private letters, rough drafts, detached notes and re- 
flections, and, in brief, anything, without exception, that 
I shall have written previous to the day of my death, no 
matter where it may then be located, or by whom it may 
be preserved, or whether it be in manuscript, or whether 
it be in print, together with the right of literary 
property in all my productions, without exception, and 
the manuscripts themselves, and all and sundry such docu- 
ments as may be extant on my decease — these I do be- 
queath in their entirety into the full possession of my 
daughter Alexandra Lvovna Tolstoy, or, if the said 
daughter Alexandra Lvovna Tolstoy should predecease 
myself, into the full possession of my daughter Tatyana 
Lvovna Sukhotin. 


Herewith I do testify that the above testament was 
actually composed, inscribed, and signed by Count Leo 


Nikolayevich Tolstoy while of sound mind and assured 
memory. Alexander Borisovich Goldenweiser, Artist. 

Herewith I do testify the same. Alexis Petrovich 
Sergeyenko, burgess. 

Herewith I do testify the same. Anatoly Dionisye- 
vich Radynsky, son of a Lieutenant-colonel. 


A Brief Survey of Tolstoy's Life during 
THE Years 1844-1852 


A General Survey, 

The present volume, Tolstoy's Diary of His Youth, covers 
the years 1847- 185 2. In order to make clear some frag- 
mentary entries of the Diary we adduce a short survey 
of some of the chief events of Tolstoy's Hfe during this 

In the autumn of 1844, when sixteen years of age, 
Tolstoy entered the faculty of Oriental languages at the 
University of Kazan (the faculty of Arabic-Turkish 
literature, as it was then called), with a diplomatic career 
in view. Owing to his dissipated and fashionable mode 
of hfe (or, perhaps, because the study of Oriental lan- 
guages held no attractions for him), Tolstoy was not 
successful in his studies. He failed in the examination 
for passing from Course I. to Course II., and would have 
had to go through the former again. Having no wish to 
do this, he asked to have his name transferred to the 
juridical faculty, and his request was granted (in 1845). 
Tolstoy passed the examination from Course I. to Course II., 
but he left the University in the spring of 1847, whilst 
following Course II. Tolstoy's petition, addressed to 
the rector of the Kazan University, read as follows : 

" Petition to His Excellency the rector of the Kazan 
University, Councillor of State and Knight, Ivan 
Mikhailovich Simonov, from Count Leo Nikolayevich 

O 241 


Tolstoy, extern student, Course II. of the juridical 

" Owing to bad health and domestic circumstances I 
no longer wish to continue my course of study at the 
University and, hence, humbly petition your Excellency 
to consent to my name being struck off the roll of students 
and all my documents being returned to me. To this 
petition I, Count Leo Tolstoy, student, sign my name. 
April 12, 1874." (A facsimile of this petition was printed 
in a Collection of Tolstoy's Letters, compiled by P. A. 
Sergeyenko and pubHshed by " Okto " in 1912.) . . . 

In the document issued by the administration of the 
University and signed by Kazem-Bek, one of the Deans, 
in April, 1847, it is stated : " The administration of the 
University, having struck Count Leo Tolstoy, extern 
student of Course II. of the juridical faculty, off the roll 
of students in accordance with his petition, owing to 
domestic circumstances, brings this fact to the notice of 
the faculty" (Archives of the Kazan University, 1847. 

No. 3). 

Tolstoy's premature departure from the University is 
often assigned to his dissipated habits and worldly life. 
It would, however, be unjust and one-sided to sup- 
pose that this was the only cause of his leaving the 
University, for it is certain that this was to a great extent 
brought about by the fact that Tolstoy was disappointed 
in the science taught at the Unversity as well as in its 
representatives. We adduce an episode from the remin- 
iscences of V. N. Nazaryev, a feUow-student of Tolstoy, 
as it is of undoubted biographical interest. It points 
already at that time to the future ruthless critic of 
privileged science promoted by the Government : 

" After entering the dark cell (where M. Nazaryev was 
confined at the time) Leo Nikolayevich . . . began . . . 
a conversation with me in which he made a fierce onslaught 
upon the science taught at the University. ' You and I 
have a right to expect,' said Count L. N. Tolstoy with 
fervour, * that we shall leave this institute as useful and 


intelligent men. . . . But what are we going to take with 
us from the University ? Think over this and give yourself 
an honest reply. What are we going to take with us when 
we leave this sanctum and return to the country ? Of 
what use shall we be to anyone and who will need 
us ? . . .' " (" Men and Life of the Past," the Istorichesky 
Vestnik, No ii, 1890). 

In his student days Tolstoy was no less critical of his- 
torical science as it was then taught at the University. 
" History," he said, '' is nothing but a collection of fables 
and of useless detail, interspersed with a multitude of 
useless figures and proper names." ^ 

According to Tolstoy's ^ own testimony, the reason he 
left the University was that the latter did not satisfy his 
craving for enlightenment — what the professors lectured 
upon had but little interest for him. 

In 1909, in reply to a question put by a St Petersburg 
student as to what was his view of " law " Tolstoy, while 
explaining his negative attitude towards what is called 
" law," recalled his University pursuits of sixty-three 
years before : "I myself was a student of jurisprudence," 
he wrote, '' and I remember that when in Course II. I 
was interested in the theory of jurisprudence, and began 
to study it not only to pass my examination but also in 
the behef that it would explain to me that which seemed 
strange and vague in the organization of the Hfe of men. 
But I remember that the more I reflected upon the meaning 
of the theory of jurisprudence, the more I became con- 
vinced that either there was something wrong in this 
science or that I was incapable of comprehending it : to 
put it more simply, it gradually dawned upon me that one 
of us must be a fool : either Nevolin, author of the 
Encyclopcedia of Jurisprudence, which I was studying, or I, 
since I was incapable of understanding the wisdom of this 
science. I was eighteen at the time and could not help 

1 "Men and Life of the Past," Nazaryev. 

* Vide P. Biryukov, Life of L. N. Tolstoy, vol. i., p. 131, published 
by the "Posrednik," Moscow, 1906. 


feeling it must be I who was stupid ; therefore I decided 
that jurisprudence was beyond my intellectual capacity 
and abandoned the study of it." 

An episode which one would have thought hkely to 
induce Tolstoy to continue his studies at the University 
hastened, on the contrary, his departure. Meyer, pro- 
fessor of Civil Law, apart from the usual University 
subjects, set him a theme : to compare Montesquieu's 
Esprit des Lois with Catherine II. 's Nakaz. According 
to Tolstoy's own testimony he took a Hking to this work. 
It revealed to him a " new realm of independent intellec- 
tual labour, whereas the University with its demands 
only hindered such work." ^ 

Young Tolstoy was disappointed in official science, but 
had not lost all desire for scientific study in general, as 
we see by entries in this Diary. And if we take into con- 
sideration his long stay at the hospital, enforced inactivity, 
absence of bustle and his sincere desire to live a weU-ordered 
Hfe, we can understand his wishing to take up " serious 

His examination of the Nakaz begins in the Diary on 
March i8, 1847, and is interesting not only owing to the 
boldness and keenness of thought in a youth of eighteen, 
such as Tolstoy was at that time, but also owing to the 
fact that we encounter thoughts therein which constitute, 
in embryo, Tolstoy's subsequent opinions concerning the 
present organization of life. In the Diary of this period 
one also encounters thoughts expressed in a primitive 
way, which betray Tolstoy's later religious views. Such, 
for instance, is the following remarkable thought : 

" The reason of the individual human being is a portion 
of everything else existent, and a portion cannot dis- 
organize the whole. Yet the whole can annul a portion ; 
wherefore fashion your reason so as to conform with the 
whole, the source of all things, and not with the mere 
portion represented by human society. That done, your 

1 These words were inserted by Tolstoy when revising vol. i. of 
Biryukov's Life. Vide p. 138. 


reason will fuse with the whole, and society, the portion, 
will be powerless to exercise upon you influence." 

This very thought, that true Hfe consists in the coales- 
cence of one's will with the will of the Source of life, the 
Cause of all, subsequently became the basis of Tolstoy's 
religious conception of Hfe. 

On leaving the University, Tolstoy went to live in the 
country. After leaving Kazan (end of April, 1847), the Diary 
breaks off for nearly two months, and in the next entry, on 
June 14, 1847, Tolstoy complains of the bad influences 
by which he is surrounded, and two days later he writes 
that the ideal which he would like to attain consists in 
" being independent of external circumstances." These 
entries indicate that he strove seriously after that moral 
perfection which, some decades later, he put as the chief 
aim of his hfe. 

After the entry for June 16, 1847, there is a break of 
three years in the Diary, and the next entry is posted 
on June 14, 1850. In all probabiHty during these three 
years Tolstoy more than once started a diary, as is indicated 
by the entry for June 14, 1850 : '' Again I betake myself 
to my Diary — again, and with fresh ardour and a fresh 
purpose. But for the what-th time ? I do not remember." 
These Diaries have probably not been preserved, though, 
of course, there is the possibihty that the entry quoted 
refers to the Diary of the year 1847. 

These three years Tolstoy spent partly at Yasnaya 
Polyana, and partly at St Petersburg and Moscow. He 
was unsettled both as regards his physical and his spiritual 
life. He began managing his estate on new principles 
and studied for a graduate's examination at the St Peters- 
burg University, successfully passing two of these. He 
then left again for the country, undecided as to whether 
to enter the Civil Service or the Army. 

As we know, on November 23, 1849, Tolstoy was given 
an appointment in connection with the Tula Assembly of 
Deputies of the Nobility ; on December 30, 1850, he 
acquired the rank of a " coUege-registrator," and 


held the appointment until November, 1851 (V. P. 
Fedorov's Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy in Military Service, 

At the beginning of the new Diary the thought is ex- 
pressed that certain practical rules should be compiled 
and strictly adhered to. Tolstoy was evidently tired of 
the dissipated, disorderly mode of life he v/as leading, 
and he conceived the desire to live a natural, rational, 
regular and healthy life. But six days after this the 
Diary breaks off again and is renewed only six months 
later at Moscow, on December 8, 1850. Although Tolstoy 
was leading a Hfe of dissipation such as was in vogue with 
fashionable people, he drew up a list of certain rules which 
he tried to follow, posting in his Diary all actions of his 
with which he was displeased. At times his dissatisfaction 
with himself was very great ; for instance, on December 29, 
1850, he noted down : "I am leading the Hfe of a brute, a 
life practically to no purpose, for I have abandoned nearly 
all my pursuits and am feeling out of spirits." 

Many years later, after a change had already taken 
place in his soul, when recalling his youth Tolstoy wrote : 
" With all my heart I wished to be good, but I was young 
and passionate. I was alone, quite alone, when I sought 
what was good. Each time I tried to express what con- 
stituted my inmost desire — the fact that I wished to be 
morally good — I was met with contempt and sneers ; 
but as soon as I gave myself up to base passions I was 
praised and encouraged." ^ 

On April 2, 1851, Tolstoy left Moscow for Yasnaya 
Polyana, where he stayed but less than three weeks, for 
his brother Nikolay Nikolayevich, who served as a gunner 
in the Caucasus, induced him to go to the Caucasus. 
Tolstoy was glad to change his mode of hfe. He and his 
brother drove as far as Saratov, making a halt at Moscow 
and Kazan, and from Saratov they sailed down the Volga 
to Astrakhan. This journey left a poetic impression 
upon Tolstoy's mind : "A whole book could be written 

1 Vide Confession, Tolstoy's Complete Works, vol. xv., p. 7, 


about it," he said to P. L Biryukov, in 1894 (D. P. 
Makovitsky's Memoirs). 

According to the testimony of S. A. Bers, who heard it 
direct from Tolstoy himself, the journey was accomplished 
thus : " They travelled in a tarantas from Kazan along the 
bank of the River Volga, accompanied by their servants. 
When they grew tired of driving they acquired a large 
boat, placed their tarantas in it and let the boat drift with 
the current. They occupied themselves with reading 
and admiring nature. In three weeks they arrived at 
Astrakhan. On the lower Volga, when they hove to, 
they often encountered half-savage Calmucks who were 
invariably seated round a fire, for at that time the bulk 
of them were fireworshippers. . . ." ^ 

With the entry for June 3, 1851, Tolstoy begins his 
Diary in the Caucasus. At first he stayed at the Staroglad- 
kovskaya Stanitsa, where his brother Nikolay Nikolayevich 
was serving. A week later his brother was sent to Stary 
Yurt camp which had been fortified for the protection of the 
sick at Goryachevodsk, and Tolstoy went with him. From 
this date poetical descriptions of nature and of his own 
mental state make their appearance in his Diary, indicating 
that the author was already possessed of a creative talent 
of high order. We come across attempts to note down 
descriptions of certain personalities, to relate in detail 
certain episodes, and so on — attempts which betrayed a 
tendency towards artistic work. 

Soon after he reached the Caucasus, Tolstoy took part 
in a raid against the mountaineers, and, following Prince 
Baryatinsky's advice, he at once decided to hand in his 
petition concerning admission to the Service. For this 
purpose Tolstoy set out for Tiflis, where he arrived on 
November i. On December 31 he signed a petition to 
the effect that he be enrolled in the 20th Field Artillery 
Brigade. . . . 

On January 14, 1852, Tolstoy again settled down at the 

^ S. A. Bers' Recollections of L. N, Tolstoy, pp. 8-g. Smolensk, 


Starogladkovskaya Stanitsa, where the 4th battery of the 
20th Field Artillery Brigade was stationed ; he was 
enrolled as a gunner of the 4th class. 

After September 4, 1851, there is again a break of five 
months in the Diary, the latter not being resumed till 
February 5, 1852. 

When leaving for a campaign, Tolstoy notes down that 
he is " indifferent to life, in which he has experienced too 
little happiness to love it " and that, therefore, he does not 
fear death. From the official record of Tolstoy's service 
(1856), we can see that he took part in the following military 
actions (in 1852) : 

" On February 17, the detachment moved in the direc- 
tion of Geldigen. A successful action was fought in the 
Humkhulu valley, villages were destroyed. ... On 
February i8th the detachment joined that of Colonel 
Baklanov. A fierce and brilliant action was fought 
by the detachment against the enemy in his position on 
the Michik. The enemy was defeated, the river was 
crossed, and the detachment reached Kurinsky." ^ 

There was no delay concerning his enrolment, but it 
was coupled with unavoidable formaUties, one of which 
was a test in science. The examination report shows that 
the learned board which tested Tolstoy's knowledge con- 
sisted of three Heutenants and one second-Heutenant. 
The examination took place on January 3, 1852, at 
the headquarters of the Caucasian Artillery Brigade 
at Mukhrovan, on the borders of the Government of 
Tiflis. It is stated in the report that Leo Nikolayevich 
Tolstoy, '' college registrator," aged 23, was tested 
in his knowledge of arithmetic, the first four rules of 
algebra, elementary principles of geometry, rules of 
Russian grammar as applied to composition, history, 
geography, and languages. He received, of course, the 
highest mark — 10 — ^in each subject. 

The following entry, February 28, 1852, was posted 

^ V. p. Fedorov, Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy in Military Service. 
(The Military Journal Bratskaya Pomoshch, No. 12, 1910.) 


when he was campaigning. Next follows a long entry 
for March 20, 1852, in which Tolstoy surveys his material 
and spiritual Hfe for the previous seven months. He finds 
that he is under the influence of three principal passions 
which prevent his advancing towards perfection ; he 
tries to define their causes and to find the means of com- 
bating them. 

From March 20 to the end of the year 1852 Tolstoy 
posted entries almost daily in his Diary. After noting 
down briefly how he had spent the day, he continues to 
write down in his Diary, though with less detail than 
before, all the thoughts, sentiments, and actions of the 
day with which he was dissatisfied. While thus con- 
tinuing to work at himself Tolstoy was, at the same time, 
reflecting more profoundly and seriously on the most 
important questions of human Hfe, at the solution of which 
the wisest men of all times and all nations have worked, 
such as : questions of God, of immortality, of good and 
evil. The thoughts on these questions noted down in 
the Diary, at which he had evidently arrived through his 
own effort, are especially remarkable, in that many of 
them correspond fully to his later rehgious conception 
of Hfe {vide entries for July 12, 18, and 22, and 
December 14, 1852). 

The following remarkable passages in the Diary also 
express a vague consciousness of his special calHng whose 
purpose was not clear to him at the time : 

*' There is in me something which forces me to beHeve 
that I was not born to be what other men are " 
(March 29). 

On August 28, 1852, his birthday, Tolstoy notes down : 

" Am now 24, yet have done nothing. I feel that it is 
not in vain that for eight years I have been struggHng 
with doubt and my passions. For what am I destined ? 
The future will reveal it." 

Of the external events of Tolstoy's Hfe during this 
period the most important was that at the end of 1851 
he began his first literary work — the story Childhood, 


at which he worked, with some interruptions, during the 
first half of 1852. The future indefatigable worker in the 
realm of religio-philosophic thought and of artistic creation 
did not hesitate to recast his works dozens of times in 
order to bring his thought to the highest degree of exacti- 
tude, clearness, and force of expression ; this is shown by 
the fact that his story Childhood was recopied three times. 
That he actually felt the incidents he created is shown by 
the fact that on May 22, 1852, he noted down in his Diary 
that he " wept from his very heart " when writing the 
chapter in his story describing the impression produced 
upon children by the death of their mother. 

Childhood appeared in Nekrasov's Sovremennik in 
December, 1852. Encouraged by Nekrasov's opinion of 
his first work, Tolstoy soon started another story. Incursion, 
which he also sent to the editor of the Sovremennik 
{vide entry for December 27). 

By degrees Tolstoy became more and more fascinated 
by literary work, and military service began to pall upon 
him : it did not agree with the aims he had set himself 
in Hfe. He harboured thoughts of leaving the Service 
and of returning to Yasnaya Polyana. . . . 

But three more years of tumultuous military life passed 
before he succeeded in realizing his aim — ^that of devoting 
himself completely to his calling. 



The Labour of Thought as Reflected in the Diary 
of his Youth, Vol. I. 

Tolstoy's constant, intense work of making clear to 
himself the meaning and the object of his life, runs Hke 
a coloured thread through all the Diaries, beginning with 
his youth and continuing down to the hour of his death. 
This inner work which continually impelled him in one 
and the same direction, in spite of all the distractions of 


life and of fascination for personal and social interests^ 
unites Tolstoy's personality into one whole during the 
various periods of his life. 

Tolstoy — student, officer, landowner, father of a family, 
school teacher, celebrated writer of belles-lettres and later, 
in his old age, thinker on moral and reHgious questions, 
and preacher calling upon mankind to embark upon a 
new life of brotherhood — remains essentially the same. 
From beginning to end he was a seeker of God and of His 
truth here on earth and, firstly, in his own soul ; he laboured 
with unbounded sincerity and a fervent, impassioned 
desire to cleanse his soul from faults and vices, which 
he ruthlessly lays bare, whilst accusing himself mercilessly. 

In his youth, maturity, and old age he is possessed of 
one and the same deeply sincere striving after that ideal 
of perfection which he put before himself at different 
periods in his hfe. 

Amongst entries— remarkable for their sincerity — 
deahng with the empty Hfe of fashionable circles or with 
his moral falls (for which he never fails to scourge him- 
self), and with his ambitious desires, are scattered 
thoughts surprising for their profundity and beauty as 
emanating from a youth. 

To this category belong thoughts which he conceives 
when striving after perfection, thoughts on solitude as being 
helpful to elucidate one's conception of things, also thoughts 
on life, death, immortality, good and evil and the natural 
striving of the human soul after what is good [vide March 
and April, 1847, June and the remainder of the year 
1851). Along with this he notes down Rules for Con- 
duct, which he works out with the object of faciUtating 
the struggle with his faiUngs and for which he keeps a 
" Franklin Journal of his Failings " (these entries commence 
in March, 1847, and continue, with some interruptions, 
during the whole of 1850 and 1851 ; they are frequently 
and diligently posted in June and December, 1850, and 
still more frequently and with greater consistency from 
January to the end of May, 1851, i.e. up to the time of 


his departure for the Caucasus). At one time, thinking 
that the " Franklin table " was constraining the freedom 
of his soul, he ceased making definite rules, but, later, he 
again found them useful (August, 1851). 

On the pages of the whole Diary we find thoughts 
concerning various abstract subjects which express his 
profound and persistent effort of tr3dng to cognate himself. 
He himself defines the chief object of a diary as follows : 
" At every point in the Diary there is visible one leading 
idea and desire : namely, that I should be delivered from the 
vanity which was crushing and marring all my pleasures ; 
that I should discover some means of delivering myself 
from the same " (pp. 126-127). 

These entries are posted almost without interruption 
from the day of his arrival in the Caucasus (June, 1851) 
and continue for three or four months. The Diary 
breaks off in the autumn of 1851, but is continued in 
February, 1852, when Tolstoy commences working at his 
inner, spiritual self (the whole of March). In his subse- 
quent entries, evidently led away by the empty life 
of officers and by mihtary exploits, alternating with hard 
work at his artistic Hterary productions, Tolstoy returns 
less frequently to meditation and serious subjects. Now 
and then, however, beautiful thoughts are found concern- 
ing his soul's striving after what is good, after immortahty, 
and so on (August, 1852). In the autumn of 1852 he was 
dissatisfied with himself and found that military service 
interfered with the two callings which he thought would 
bring him peace and happiness, no doubt meaning the 
calling of a writer and that of a man in the best and most 
complete sense of the word, as he understood it at the 
time. Some entries reflect his religious and prayerful 
frame of mind. Entries of this kind he posted soon after 
his arrival in the Caucasus (June, 1852), as well as later, 
when he again found his true self and noted down a brief 
" confession " after a period of exciting military life 
(November, 1852), which had satisfied him at the time. 
Later, in December, he notes down : '' I beseech Thee, O 



Lord, to reveal to me Thy will. To be happy one must 
constantly strive towards this happiness and understand 
it. Not upon circumstances but upon oneself it depends " 
(p. 214). Many years later this thought became a firm 
conviction^ which Tolstoy often expressed briefly in the 
words of Syutayev, a peasant he loved : Everything is in 


What L, Ni Tolstoy Wrote during the Years i847-i852i 

A . Belles-lettres : 

1. The story Childhood forms Part I. of a large work in 
which the author proposed to depict the four periods of 
life (concerning this Uterary production he posts entries 
in March, July, September, October and November, 1852). 
It was pubHshed in the Sovremennik for September, 1852. 
In the same month he continued to work on Part II. of 
this work, to which he himself gave the title Boyhood, and 
at which he worked much during the following year 
(vide vol. ii.. Diary of His Youth). 

2. The story Incursion (in November and during the 
latter part of December, 1852). At the end of December 
he sent this story to Nekrasov for pubHcation in the 

3. At the same time he was engrossed in the writing of 
The Novel of a Landowner. In the autumn of 1852 he 
notes down a detailed scheme for this novel [vide p. 202, 
entry in itaUcs), " Basis for the Novel of a Russian Land- 
owner "... He also says (entry for Dec. nth, 1852) : 
" I have begun upon such a splendid thing. The Novel of 
a Landowner." No doubt it was this work which appeared 
later, under the title The Morning of a Landowner, and 
which, as we know, has an autobiographical value, apart 
from its great artistic merit. 

B. Sketches, 

As to the sketches with which L. N. Tolstoy was 


occupied in his youth, when he first felt that literature 
was his calling, mention is made in the pages of the 
present Diary of the following artistic works he had con- 
ceived (stated in chronological order) : the Story of Gipsy 
Life (December, 1850) ; Story of Mi . . . (January, 1851) ; 
Life ofT.A. (March, 1851) ; Dream (April, 1851) ; Story 
of a Day of Sport (April, 1851) ; Lukashka (August, 1851) ; 
Dzhemy (April, 1852) ; Letter from the Caucasus (May- July, 
1852) ; Sketches of the Caucasus (October, November, 
1852) ; Etudes des mceurs (November, 1852) ; Plan of the 
Novel of a Russian Landowner (July, September-Decem- 
ber, 1852) ; My Romance — Four Periods (November, 

The Letter from the Caucasus is mentioned several times 
during the first half of 1852, but in the second half of the 
same year it is referred to as Caucasian Sketches, or 
Sketches of the Caucasus. In October, 1852, Tolstoy writes 
down a detailed synopsis of the sketches he has con- 
ceived {vide p. 161), which no doubt finally issued as the 
sketch entitled Incursion. Amongst other things he plans 
to note down the tales of Yapishka — ^the prototype of 
" Eroshka " in the story to which, later, he gave the title 
Cossacks (in his Diary Tolstoy calls this old Cossack 
" Yapishka," whereas his name was " Epishka "). Some 
of the sketches mentioned as subjects are : Dzhemy — The 
Story of a Family, and the Story of Sal (unfortunately the 
Editor does not know the full title of the latter). They 
were evidently never finished, perhaps not even begun ; 
some of these subjects he derived from the surrounding 
hfe or from the tales of his Chechenian friends. 

Prior to and at about this time he was attracted by 
subjects of a different character ; thus he notes down : 
" I may write a good book, A Life of T. A.," i.e. his 
favourite aunt, Tatyana Alexandrovna Ergolsky (p. 69). 
Fifty years later, on December 19, 1903, Tolstoy notes 
down in his Diary : "A truly chaste woman who gives 
up the whole force of a mother's self-sacrifice to the 
service of God, — of men, is the best and happiest human 


being (Aunty T. A.)." At another place he says : 
"To write a History of Mi . . .'' (p. 55). Unfortunately 
the word had not been deciphered in the copy at the 
Editor's disposal. In the Caucasus he is also attracted 
by the type of the Cossack Lukashka, a droll fellow, whom 
they have nicknamed '' Mark " in the village. He posts 
the following entry concerning Lukashka : " The per- 
sonahty of Mark is so interesting and typically Cossack 
that some attention may well be paid to it (p. 114). 
No doubt he also observed and noted down characteristic 
traits of the officers in order to make use of the material 
in his future artistic work. Such, for instance, is a detailed 
description of Knorring (July 4, 1851). At one time he 
thought of writing a book giving an account of the officers' 
miUeu in which he Hved ; he called the work Etudes des 
mceurs, but was not satisfied and soon abandoned it 
(p. 206). 

Some entries in the Diary, which contain touching and 
beautiful descriptions of nature, are expressive of his 
lyrical frame of mind and should be regarded as a product 
of his artistic creative genius (June 11, July 3, and August 
10, 1851). 

C. Besides artistic subjects Tolstoy was also attracted 
by other interesting themes. The first entries in the Diary 
show him to be interested in a serious examination of 
Catherine's Nakaz (March 18-26, 1847). In 1851 he is 
about to write some " sermons " (April, 1851). In the 
same year he reads also many foreign books from which 
he quotes (June and July), and he translates Sterne and 
Lamartine. Later he has conceived a vast Project (or 
Plan) of Russian Administration (May, August, 1852) 
which should, in his opinion, be based on monarchical rule, 
combined with an aristocratic electoral system (p. 189). 
Then he thought of writing a History of Europe : " Must 
compose a true and just history of Europe of the present 
century. I have there an aim for all my Hfe " (Sep- 
tember 22, 1852). 








Day of the Month. 



1846 ?-47 

March 17- April 19 




June 18-16 

Yasnaya Polyana . 



June 14-19 

»» >> • • 


Dec. 8-30 . 



Dec. 31 

Yasnaya Polyana . 



Jan. 1-2 

»> >» • • 


Jan. 1 2- April 2 . 



April 3-8 . 

Yasnaya Polyana . 


April 9-14 . 

Between Yasnaya Polyana 

and Moscow, en route . 


April 14-20 

Yasnaya Polyana . 


May 20 

En route 


June 3-9 . 



June ii-July 4 . 

Stary Yurt . 



? 1-9 . . 



June 2-4 



July 8-Aug. 10 . 

Stary Yurt . 


Aug. 22-25 

Stary Yurt or Staroglad- 

kovskaya . 


Aug. 26-Sept. 4 . 




Feb. 5 

Nikolayevka (with the de- 



,. 28 . . 

Teplik {with the detach- 



March 20-April 13 



April 14-20 



„ 21 . 

Oreshinka Stanitsa 


„ 22-23. 

Port Shandrakovsky 


„ 24 . 



,. 25-May 12 . 



J J 

May 13-14 . 

En route (Mozdok) 


J J 

„ 1 6- July 5 . 

Pyatigorsk . 


July 6-31 . 




Aug. 1-6 . 

Pyatigorsk . 



., 8-Sept. 9 . 



J J 

Sept. 10-13 



J J 

„ 17-N0V. 17 



Nov. 18-19 




„ 25-Dec. 31 . 





The object of this Table of Entries is to enable the 
reader to fix more easily the place where Tolstoy hap- 
pened to be on the day on which any particular entry was 
posted in his Diary. To avoid overloading the text with 
additional insertions, we have inserted the name of the 
place only where the author mentions that he is removing 
to another locality, without having noted the fact at the 
head of the entry. 




Genealogy of the Tolstoys.^ 

According to a Chernigov historian, Indris, who had 
come to Chernigov frona Germany in 1353 with two sons 
and a bodyguard 3000 strong, was the founder of the 
Tolstoy family. They all embraced the Greek-Orthodox 
faith; and Indris was given the name of Leonty. 

1. Indris (Leonty). 

2. Constantine Leontyevich. 

3. Hariton Const antinovich. 

4. Audrey Haritonovich, called Tolstoy. 

5. Karp Andreyevich Tolstoy. 

6. Theodore the Bigger Karpovich Tolstoy. 

7. Evstafy Fedorovich Tolstoy. 

8. Audrey Evstafyevich Tolstoy. 

9. Vasily Andreyevich Tolstoy. 

10. Michael Vasilyevich Tolstoy. 

11. Audrey Mikhailovich Tolstoy. 

12. Yakov Andreyevich Tolstoy. 

13. Vasily Yakovlevich Tolstoy. 

14. Audrey Vasilyevich Tolstoy. Ob. 1688. Married a 
daughter of Michael Miloslavsky as his second wife. Of 
this marriage was born : 

15. Peter Andreyevich Tolstoy (1645-1729), afterwards 
created Count Tolstoy, from whom the Tolstoys were 

16. Ivan Petrovich Tolstoy {obit 1728), president of a 
court. Married Princess P, I. Troyekurov {obit 1748). 

1 Vide the Book of Russian Genealogies, published in four parts by- 
Prince Dolgorukov, 1 854-1 857. St. P. — Ed. 



17. Andrey Ivanovich Tolstoy (1721-1803). Married 
Princess A. I. Shchetinin {phit 181 1). 

18. Ilya Andreyevich (1757-1820), Governor of Kazan. 
Married Princess P. N. Gorchakov (1762-1838). 

19. Nikolay Ilyich (1797-1837). Married Princess Maria 
N. Volkonsky (1790-1830). 

20. Leo Nikolay evich Tolstoy (Aug. 28, 1828-Nov. 7, 



A. {?), 144, 145, 181, 185, 188, 

A., vide Alifer 

A., Countess (Adlerberg or 
Apraksin), 38 

Abilez, 140, 213 

Agalin, A. P. {" Ogolin "). offi- 
cer, 188, 206, 208, 210, 217, 

Ahasverus, vide The Eternal 

Al . . . (?), 198 

Aleshka, " Aleshk." (Serf), 153, 

Aleutian Islands, vide " Concern- 
ing Expeditions to the Aleutian 
Islands " 

Alexandrian Gallery, 161, 164 

Alexandrian Waters, 158, 161 

Alexeyev, " Alex.," " Al.," 
" A.," N. P. (battery com- 
mander), 80, 81, 118, 120, 130, 
134, 137, 140, 142, 143, 147, 
149, 150, 151, 159, 161, 176, 
182, 184, 189, 190, 191, 199, 
214, 216 

Alifer, " A." (Olifer). 184, 185 

Almazov, B. N., 209 

Andrey, vide Ilyin 

Anikeyev, 44, 60 

AnnaPetr., A. Petr. (Yakovlev?), 

45, 48 
Anton-Goremyka, story by D. V. 

Grigorovich, 96, 139 
Arbat Quarter (in Moscow), 68 
Archbishop's Garden in Kazan, 


A y chives of the Village of Kara- 

hikha, published by F. 

Nekrasov, 181, 194, 210 
Archives of Kazan IJniversity, 

1847, 242 
Aristotle, 189 
Armenian Rule and Armenian 

Administration, 156, 201 
Arsenyevs, Arsenyev, Valerie 

Vlad., 74, 75, 77, 142 
Arslan-Khan, 13a 
Art. Com. (Artillery Commander, 

or Commander), 190 
Artillery Programme, 176 
Astashev or Ostashev Garden ; 

in the text : " Estashav 

Garden," 154, 155 
Astrakhan, 80, 246, 247 
Atd. (surname ?), 163 
Avd. Max., vide Countess 


B. (?): 87 

B. (?), Beersha or Buyemsky (?), 

B., " Stranger," 163 
B., vide Beer, " Beersha " 
B., vide Busl. or Buyemsky 
Baklanov, Colonel, 123 124, 125, 

Balta, a Chechenian, 120, 144, 

Baryatinsky, " B.," " Bar.," 

Prince Alexander Iv., 86, 

120, 169, 247 
Baumgarten, 146, 147 
Beccaria, Crimes and Penalties, 2 




Beer, Beers, Anast. Vlad., Andr. 

Andr., Natal. Andr,, Mar. 

Vas., Alex, and Konstan. 

Andreyevich. Serg. Alexeye- 

vich. XV., 60, 63, 65, 67, 68, 

70, 71, 182 
Beersha, " B.," Natalia Andr. 

(Rzhevsky), 60, 63, 150, 176, 

182, 205 
Begem. (?), 158 

Begichev, 58, 60, 62, 63, 66, 71, 74 
Beketov, A. N., 109 
Beklemishev, D. I. or Ser. I,, 

67, 68, 70, 71, 72 
Bers, S. A., vide Tolstoy, Coun- 
tess Sophia Andreyevna 
Bers, St. A,, Recollections of L. 

N. Tolstoy 
Biblioteka dlya Chteniya, 133, 

150, 208, 215 
Bilye (gymnast), 64 
Biryukov, Paul Iv., 126, 197, 

210, 211 
Blagovo, D., 47 
Board of Guardians, 44 
Boborykin, P. D., 78 
Borozdinka, " B.," Cossack 

village, 151 
Bota, or Bata, 132 
" Boyhood," Part II. of L. N. 

Tolstoy's Trilogy, 211, 253 
" Brigadier," vide Levin 
Brimmer, " B.," general, 200, 202 
Brockhaus and Efron, Encyclo- 

pcedia, 216 
Bronevsky, 142 
Buffon, 148 
Bulka (dog), 164, 171, 176, 183, 

Buyemsky, Bus, and Buyel, 

" B-sky.," " B.," officer, 139, 

142, 145, 160, 161, 162, 163, 

167, 168, 170, 171, 172, 173, 

175, 176, 179, 184, 186, 188, 

189, 190, 194, 212 
By-Paths, story by Grigorovich, 


Campiani (?), 88 

Catherine II., 2-26 

Caucasus, The, 69, 76, 77, 80, 

86, 87, 90, 107, 152, 161, 165, 

199, 245, 247, 252 

Caucasian Tales {Dzhemi and 
Incursion), 144, 210 

Cerisier, Pastor, author of Gene- 
vieve de Brabant, 96 

Charles I., vide History of 
Charles I. 

Chechenia, district of the Da- 
ghestan province, 123 

Chechenian Song, 120 

Chertov, P. A., 48 

Chertov, V. E., 55 

Chervlennaya Stanitsa, 86 

Chevalier (hotel), 64 

Childhood. C, M.C., My Child- 
hood, Story of My Childhood, 
" Part I." of a novel, 127, 144, 
152, 159, 161, 163, 167, 173, 
174, 181, 185, 193, 197. 205, 
207, 208, 209, 249, 250, 253 

Chulkov, 49, 75, 77 

Coffee-House of Surat, by 
Bernardin de St Pierre, 97 

Colonist, vide Gilke. 

Complete Works of L.N. Tolstoy, 
edited by P. I. Biryukov, 
published by Sytin, 1913-14 
(cheap edition), 32, 40, 43, 
45, 53. 62, 63, 69, 211 

Concerning Expeditions to the 
Aleutian Islands, 148 

Confessions, J. J. Rousseau, 
176, 177, 184 

Confession, by L. N. Tolstoy, 

Contrat Social, J. J. Rousseau, 

Cossacks, story by L. N. Tolstoy, 

114. 115 
Count. (Countess), vide Tolstoy, 

Countess Avd. Max. 

D. (doctor ?), 164, 173, 185, 186 

D. A. (?), 150 

Daghestan (province in the 

North- Western Caucasus), 89 
David Copperfield, by Dickens, 

Description of War, vide Military 




Descriptions : (a) of acquaint- 
ances, (b) of men (in 
general), 90, 113, 117, 134, 

135, 169 
Diaries of Tolstoy (1895-99), 

42, 124 
Diary of His Youth, by L. N. 

Tolstoy, Vol. II., 218 
Dickens, Charles, 194 
Dictionary, Sadler's, 194 
Dmitry, vide Count D. N. 

Dmitry (orderly or footman), 

133, 144, 151, 155 
Draco, 6 
Drozdov, 174 
Dumas, A. P^re, 138, 
Dunechka (Temyashev), 32 
Duport, Adrien, loi 
Durda, a Chechenian, 131 
Dyakovs, Dyakov, " D.," 

Dmitry Alexandrovich and 

Darya Alexandrovna, 45, 46, 

48, 49, 52, 63, 64, 82, 206, 207, 


E. (?), (I), 72 
E. (?). (2), 73 
E., " Editor," vide Nekrasov, 

N. A. 
" Easter," " Easter Sunday," 

75, 142 
Egypt, 154 
Eighty Years . . . of the Life of 

the 20th Artillery Brigade, by 

Yanzhul, vide Yanzhul 
E.K.C., Entrenched Kurinsky 

Camp, 123, 124, 263 
Elizabethan Waters, 161 
" Emile," 76 
Encyclopcedia of Jurisprudence, 

by Nevolin, 56 
EncyclopcBdia of Law, 55 
Encyclopcsdia, vide Brockhaus 
England, 19 
Epishka, vide Yapishka 
Eremeyev, " Er.," " Erem.," 

75. 189 
Ergolsky, Taty ana Alexandrovna 

" Aunty," 34, 44, 51, 62, 69, 

72, 75, 77» 78, 81, 82, 107, 119, 

120, 121, 122, 138, 141, 147, 
150, 165, 176, 180, 181, 183, 
188, 191, 198, 200, 204, 211 
Ermak (Timofeyevich), 152 
Ermolov, " Ermol.," A. P., 72, 

Ermolov's Day, 114 
" Eroshka " (in the story Cos- 
sacks), 114, 115 
Esprit des Lois, by Montesquieu, 

6, 9, 16, 261 
Estashev Garden, vide Astashev 

Eternal Jew, The, novel by 

Eugene Sue, 152 
Etudes des moeurs (Study of 

Manners), 206, 254, 255 
Europe (History of Europe), 

26, 96, 255 
Evreinov Moscow acquaintance, 

44, 45, 54 
Evreinov (?), " reduced to the 

ranks " (in the Caucasus), 86 
Evstratov, Peter, 47 

F., vide Fedurkin 

Fedorov, V. P., L. N. Tolstoy in 

Military Service, 246, 248 
Fedurkin (?), 181 
Ferzen, P. K., 60 
France, 102 

Franklin, Benjamin, 60 
Franklin Journal, Franklin 

Book, Franklin Table, and 

Journal of Failings, 61, 62, 

83, 118 

G. (?), 62, 85 

G. (estate), 182 

Galagan (locality), 190 

" Games," chap. viii. of the 

story Childhood, by L. N. 

Tolstoy, 174 
Gartung, L. N., 77 
Georgiyevsky (Cossack village), 

Gerschenson, M. O., 54 
Gildy, Geldy, Tartar song, 198 
Gilke, " Colonist," 56, 74, 149 
Glushkov (?), 215 
Goethe, Wolfgang, 71 



Gogol, N. v., 95 
Goldenweiser, A. B., 54 
Goldsmith, Oliver, 29 
Golitsin, Prince, 59 
Gorchakov, Gorchakovs, 38, 43, 

49, 55. 59, 62, 65, 71, 74, 77 
Gorchakov, Nik. (?), Prince, 49 
Gorchakov, " P. A. I.," Prince 

Andrey Ivanovich, 45, 48, 

54, 56 
Gorchakov, "P. S. D.," Prince 
Sergey Dmitriyevich, 43, 47, 

Gorchakovs (of Siberia), 62 
Gorchakovs (?), S. and G,, 38 
Goryachevodsk (Goryachevodsk 

Camp), Terek province, 82 
Gotier (bookseller), 49 
Gracques,^ les, 100 
Grigorovitch, D. V., 96 
Groznaya, Groznoye, Grozny, 

fortress, 87, 89, 120, 127 
Grummont, village, 145 
Gusev, N. N., xv., 250 
Gus — on (?), 174 

H., vide Hilkovsky 
Hadji-Murat, 131 
Hasayev-Yurt, vide Kamenny 

Hennissienne, Mile., Mar. Iv., 45 
Hilkovsky, " Hilskov.," " H.." 

134, 136, 138, 140, 146, 183, 

184, 186, 189, 191, 200, 205, 

206, 210, 215, 216, 218 
Histoire d'A ngletevre, David 

Hume, 151, 152, 156, 162 
Histoire des Crusades, by F. 

Michaud, 203, 204 
History of Charles I., by Hume, 

171, 172 
History of Louis XVI., by 

Thiers, 133, 172 
History of My Childhood, by 

L. N. Tolstoy, 209, 211 
Hop. (?), 66 
Hours of Devotion, translated 

from the German, 168, 175 
Hrip. (?), 216 
Hume, historian, 149, 158, 171, 


Ilyaska, a Tartar, 206 

Ilyin, Andrey (steward at Yas- 

naya Polyana), 65, 74, 133, 

171, 180 
Incursion, Description of War, 

Prisoner of the Caucasus, 

" Story " or " Tale," by L. N. 

Tolstoy, 210, 211, 212, 215, 

216, 217, 250, 253 
Institution (part of the Justinian 

Code), 29 
Islavin, " Kostinka," K. A., 61, 

64, 65, ^o, 71, 75, 77, 176, 193. 

Islenyev, 62, 64, 65, 66, 77 
Istorichesky Vestnik, magazine, 

I. T., vide Ilya Tolstoy 
I. v., vide Kireyevsky, Ivan. Val. 
Ivan Moiseyevich, clerk, 171, 174 
Ivanov, 70 
Iversky (chapel), 52 
" Ivins, The," chap, in the story 

Childhood, 52 

K., vide Koloshin 

K., " disagreeable officer," 82 

K. (?) (first unknown), 150 

K. (?) (second unknown), 183 

K., vide Kizlyar 

" K. I. M." or K. N. M. (?), 55 

Kalymazhny Dvor, 44, 48, 71 

Kazan, 45, 69, 76, 77, 78, 106, 

107, 108, no, 153, 206, 245, 

Kazan University, 26, 27, 29, 51, 

Kazem-Bek, Professor at the 

Kazan University, 242 
Kazi-Girey, 88 
Kal-Yurt, 119 
Karr, Alphonse, author of 

Genevieve, 96 
Katenka, in the story Childhood, 

32, 155 
Katkov, publisher, 182 
Katya, a gipsy girl in Moscow, 

Kireyevsky, Nikolay Vasilyevich, 

52, 53 



K. L., officer (Knyazev, L. ?), 

Kneznedlev, 149 
Knoring, 87, 90, 91, 255 
Kobylin, 60 
Kochkin, officer, 212 
Koloshin, Sergey, 45, 48, 50, 64, 

65, 70, 171 
Koloshins, P. I., S. P. and 

Sonechka, 57 
Konradi, 87 
Kopylov, 180, 182, 215 
Kornilov, A. A., 60 
Korsaki, 157 

Kostenka, vide Islavin, K. A. 
Krapivna, district town in the 

Government of Tula, 11 1 
Krylov, T. A., ao 
Kryuk (?), 182 
Kryukov, 43 
Kulikovsky, 65, 73 

L. (?), in Kazan, 29 

L. (undeciphered), in the 

Caucasus, 140, 142, 149, 214 
Lace-Maker, story by M. Mik- 

hailov, 173 
Ladyzhensky, officer of the 

Kurinsky regiment, 215 
Lamartine, 66, 67,94, 100,103,255 
Laptev, 47 
Legend of P. the G. (Peter the 

Great), 152 
Lemerre, Alphonse, 97 
Lermontov, Mich. Yuryev, poet, 

" Letter," chap, in the story 

Childhood, 161, 163 
Letter from the Caucasus, by 

L. N. Tolstoy, 161, 162, 168, 

170, 172, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187 
Levin, L. Th., " Brigadier," 191, 

Libir, Libin (?), 47 
Life of L. N. Tolstoy, by Biryu- 

kov, 32, 34, 45, 126, 127, 175, 

193, 197. 243 
" L. N.," Tolstoy's signature to 

his manuscript Childhood, 195 
Loewenfeld, German biographer 

and translator of Tolstoy, 34 

Louis XVI., vide History of 

Louis XVI. 
Luka, Lukashka (also "Mark"), 

114, 116, 117, 118, 254, 255 
Lvov, Elis. Lvovna, 44, 70 
Lvov, Geor. Vlad., 44, 45, 46, 

59, 62, 64, 70, 71 
Lycurgus, 6 

M., Makalinsky (?), (officer in 

the Kurinsky regiment), 157, 

M. (?), (first unknown), 181 
M. (?) (second unknown), 207 
Makhin, cadet, 31 
Mamakay-Yurt (village in 

Chechenia), 201 
Mamonov, 134, 135 
Maria, servant in Moscow, 72 
Marius, 100 
" Mark," vide Luka 
Masha, vide Tolstoy, Countess 

M. M. 
Masha, vide Tolstoy, Countess 

M. N. 
Masha, young girl at Pyatigorsk, 

Maslov, 213 
M.C. (My Childhood), vide 

Meyer, D. I., Prof., 26, 244 
Mergasov, vide Molostvov, V. I. 
Mertvago, A. P., 107, 108 
Michael Bakunin's Young Days, 

by A. A, Kornilov, 60 
Michaud, Joseph Francois, 203 
Mich. Sem., vide Vorontsov, 

Prince M. S. 
Mikhailov, Michael Illariono- 

vich, writer, 173 
Mi-mi (governess), in the story 

Childhood, 155 
Military Tales, Description of 

War, Prisoner of the Caucasus, 

211, 212, 217, 250, 254 
M. M., vide Mikhailov 
Mirabeau aux Marseillais, 100 
Mitenka, vide Tolstoy, Count 

Dmitry Nik. 
Mitikov, 63 
Molostvovs, 78 



Molostvov, Barbara Ivanovna 

(nSe Mergasov), io6 
Molostvov, Zinaida Modestovna, 

vide Tiele 
Molostvov, Modest Porfiryevich, 

Montesquieu, 2, 6, 16, 20, 23, 

26, 36. 244 
Morel (owner of a restuarant), 

65, 66, 72 
Morning of a Landowner, story 

by L. N. Tolstoy, 186,214 
Moscow, 37, 39, 40. 43. 50. 52, 53i 

67, 68, 76, 151, 245 
Mosk. V. Ch. (?), 174 
Moskvityanin, magazine, 54, 208, 

Mostovaya (estate), 183 
Mozdok, Terek province, 160 
Mukhrovan, boundary of the 

Government of Tiflis, 284 
Muromtsevs, 63, 64 

N. (?), 162 

Nakaz (Catherine's examination 
of the Nakaz), 2-26, 27, 28, 

244. 255 
Nareb, vide Paroboch 
" Natalia Savvishna " (in the 

story Childhood), 211 
Nazaryev, Valerian Nik., writer, 

242, 243 
Nekrasov, " Editor," Nikolay 

Alexeyevich, 181, 193, 194, 195, 

197, 204, 207, 210, 250, 253 
Neskuchny Garden (in Moscow), 

Nevolin, Const, Al., Prof., author 
of the EncyclopcBdia of Juris- 
prudence, 56, 243 
Newton's Binomial, 163 
Niece, The, novel by Eup. Tur., 

Night or Hor . . . ?, the title 

of a book, 89, 90 
Nikita, 114 

Nikolay evka (village), 123 
Nikolay (servant), 52, 75 
" Nikolenka," " Nikolay," vide 
Tolstoy. Count N. N. 

N.N, (perhaps Hume, Histoire, ?), 

book, 181 
Nogay, healer, a Tartar, 158 
Nouvelle Eloise, J. J. Rousseau, 

Novel of a Russian Landowner, 

Morning of a Landowner, 

Novel, 186, 196, 198, 199, 201, 

202, 212, 214, 217 
Novikov, 149 
Novo-Troitsky restaurant (in 

Moscow), 71 
N. S. (?), 208 
N. U. (or P. U., i.e. Prince 

U . . . ?), 200 

O., vide Ogolin (?) 

Ogarev, 39, 40 

Ogolin, Alex, Step., 78 

Ogolin, officer, vide Agalin 

Old House, The, novel (?), 148 

Olivier, 62 

" On Prayer," i.e. " Grisha," 
chap, in the story Childhood, 

Oreshinka, Great Oreshevka, 156 

Orlov (?), 73 

Otechestvenniya Zapiski, pub- 
lished by A. A. Krayevsky, 
48, 138, 208 

P,, " unknown person," 163 

P., vide Perepelitsin 

Panayev, I. I., publisher of the 

journal Sovremennik, 193 
Panin, Panins, Counts, 58, 62 
Paroboch, locality, 208 
Pasha (feminine name), 153 
Pelageya Ilyinishna, "P. I.," 

vide Yushkov 
Pelageya Nikolayevna, vide 

Countess Tolstoy 
Per. (? in Moscow), 64 
Perel, or Perep., vide Perepelitsin 
Perepelitsin, "Per.," "P.." 

" Perep.," 155, 194. ^95, 214 
Perfilyev, Praskovya Fedorov- 

na, nie Countess Tolstoy, 48 
Perfilyev, Perfilyevs, " Per.," 

" Vasenka," Vasily Stepano- 


vich and Stepan Vasilyevich 

(father), 42, 43, 58, 60, 64. 77 
^J?eter (? name of an influential 

acquaintance), 43 
Petersburg, " Piter," 34, 38, 

166, 193, 197, 200, 245 
Pirogovo, estate, 74, 75, 77, 151 
Plato, 163, 189 
Pogodin, M. P., editor, publisher 

of the journal Moskvityanin, 

Poiret, owner of a gymnasium, 

57. 59, 62, 63, 68, 70 
Pokrovskoye (estate), 51, 75, 77 
"Pokunka" (feminine name), 

Poliiique, by Aristotle, 189 
Politique, by Plato, 189 
" Pomchishka" (feminine name), 

Port-Louis, 98 
" Posrednik " Publishing House, 

30. 95 
Praskovya Isayevna, " Pash- 

enka," 211 
Prince Audrey Inavovich, vide 

Profession de foi du Vicaire 

Savoyard, J. J, Rousseau, 176, 

Project, vide Scheme of Russian 

A dministration 
P. S. D., vide Gorchakov, Prince 

S. D. 
Pyatigorsk, 158, 160, 175, 184, 

Pyatkin, " P.," 90, 163 

R. (?), " unknown person," 163, 

172, 186 
R,, vide Rozher 

R., vide Romance of a Landowner 
Reader, by L. N. Tolstoy, 164 
Reminiscences of My Childhood, 

by L. N. Tolstoy, 39, 43. 45. 

46, 51. 53. 62, 65, 69, 144. 145. 

Robespierre, Maximilian, 102 
Rodion Institute, in Kazan, 78 
Rojer, " R.," K. H., doctor, 186, 

187, 188, 189 

Roman Law, 29 

Rome, 196 

Rousseau, Jean- Jacques, 49, 98, 

176, 177, 186 
Rudolf (German musician), 34 
Russia, 3, 10, 26, 152, 156, 157, 

169, 176, 203 
" Russian Civil Law," 27 
Russky Vestnik, journal, 182 
Rzhevsky, Vlad. Konst., 182 

S. (?), (in the Caucasus), 208 
" S.," " Sul.," vide Sulimovsky 
S., vide Tolstoy, Count Sergey 

S., vide the Sovremennik 
Sado, a Chechenian, 119, 140, 


Safa (?), 198 

Salamalida (?), 119 

Saratov, town, 78, 246 

" Saturn " (?), 78 

Scheme of Russian Administra- 
tion, or Project, 163, 189, 190 

Seleznev, 77 

S6n6que, Lucius Annaeus, 105 

Senkowski, O. J. I., 215 

Sentimental Journey through 
France and Italy, by Sterne, 

Serebryakovka, village in the 
Terek province, 157 

Serezha, Serezhenka, " S.," vide 
Tolstoy, Count Sergey Niko- 

Sergeyenko, P. A., 242 

Sergey Nikolayevich, vide Count 

Shamil, 87, 131, 132 

Shandrakovsky or Shandrukov- 
sky, port., 156 

Shcherbatov, Prince A, A., 49, 
50, 52, 74, 75, 77 

Shelkovodskaya, Shelkovaya, 
" Sheik.," 146, 208 

Shishk. (?), 183 

Shokhor-Trotsky, C. S., xv. 

Shooting in the Caucasus, or 
Notes on Shooting, by Count 
N. N. Tolstoy, 204, 205 



Shuvalov, N. N. and O. V., 77, 

Simonov, I. M., rector of the 

Kazan University, 241 
Sketches of the Caucasus, C.S., 

Caucasian Sketches, by L. N. 

Tolstoy, 200, 201, 202, 211 
" Sorrow," chapter in L. N, 

Tolstoy's story Childhood, 163 
Socrates, 29, 30 
Sollogub, V. A., 48, 66 
Southern Siberia, 146 
Souvestre, Emile, 103 
Sovremennik, journal, 170, 173, 

181, 193, 197, 204, 205, 250, 

Starogladkovskaya Stanitsa, 

Terek province, 80, 92, iii, 

115, 127, 151, 157, 181, 190, 

194, 198, 247 
Stary Yurt, village, 82, iii, 127, 

Sterne, 105, 112, 149, 151, 255 
Stolypins, 53 
St Pierre, Bernardin de, writer, 

97. 98 
Sue, Eugene, author, 94 
Sufferings of Young Werther, 

story by Goethe, 71 
Sukhotin, A. M., 159 
Sukhotin, S. M. (?), 188 
" Sukhotin," hero in a novel 

(unfinished work), 199 
Sulimovsky — I, Mich. I v. and 

S, ; II. Alexandre Iv., " S.," 

" Sul.," 118, 133, 134, 146, 

149. 196, 205, 213, 214, 215, 

Sultan (horse ?), 218 
Sultanov, " S.," 134, 135, 146, 

192, 195, 200 
Sviridov, 208 
Sylvandire, novel by A. Dumas, 

Sytin, I. D., publisher, 211 
Syutayev, V. K., peasant, 253 

T. (?). 83 

Tale, vide Military Tales 

Tales of a Grandmother, D. 

Blagovo, Recollections of Five 

Generations, 47 
Talleyrand (?), 97 
Talyzin, 66 
Tatishchev, 52 
Tatyana Alexandrovna, vide 

Tchertkoff, A. K., xv., 253, 


Tchertkofi, Vlad. Grig., xiii., 
XV., 42, 89, 209 

Tell me why ?, a Gipsy song, 112 

Teplik, " Tepli-Kichu," fortified 
camp in Daghestan, on the left 
bank of the river Sunzha, 123 

Terek, The, river, 119, 152 

Terek, province (Northern Cau- 
casus), 80, 82 

Themes (unfinished writings) : 
A Caucasian Tale, 48 ; Dream, 
75 ; Dzhemi, 144 ; Etudes des 
Mceurs, 206 ; Letter from the 
Caucasus, 61, 62, 68, 70, 72, 
83, 84, 85, 86, 161 ; Life of 
T. A., 69; Lukashka, 114; 
My Romance (4 epochs), 212 ; 
Plan of the Romance of a 
Russian Landowner, 86, 95, 97, 
99, 186, 201, 202, 212, 214, 
217 ; Scheme of Russian Ad- 
ministration, 163, 189, 190 ; 
Sermons, 74 ; Story of a Day 
of Sport, 75, 76 ; Story of 
Gipsy Life, 40 ; Story of 
Mi . . ., 55 ; Yapishka's 
Tales, etc., 200, 201, 202, 203, 
211, 212 

Thierry, Amed^e, 133 

Thiers, 133, 172 

Tiele, Nikolay Vasilyevich, 174 

Tiele, " Zinaida," Modesto vna, 
nie Molostvov, 106, 107, no, 

Tiflis, 51, 69. no, 127, 128, 135, 

138, 212, 247 
Tolstoy Annual, The, 1913, 

published by the Tolstoy 

Museum, 35, 209, 219 
Tolstoy, Countess " Avd. Max.," 

" The Countess," " The 

Count," 43, 46, 48, 54 


Tolstoy, Countess " Masha," 
" Mashenka," Maria Nikola- 
yevna (sister), 76, 77, 173, 184 

Tolstoy, Countess Olga Konstan- 
tinovna (Tolstoy's daughter- 
in-law), 178 

Tolstoy, Countess Pelageya 
Nikolayevna, nie Gorchakov 
(Tolstoy's grandmother), 43 

Tolstoy, Countess Sophie An- 
dreyevna (L. N. Tolstoy's 
wife), nie Bers, xiii., i, 61, 

Tolstoy, Count Theodore Petro- 

Tolstoy, " I. T.," Count Ilya 
Andreyevich, 183 

Tolstoy, " Masha," Countess 
Maria Mikhailovna (wife of 
Serg. Nik.), 77 

Tolstoy, " Mitenka," Count 
Dmitry Nikolayevich, brother, 

i53» 154 
Tolstoy, "Nikolenka," " N.," 
' ' Youngster, " " brother, ' ' 
Count Nikolay Nikolayevich, 
46, 51, 52, 58, 67, 76, 77, 79, 
80, 82, 83, 85, 86, 89, 121, 130, 

133. 135. 136, 137. 138, 139, 
140, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 
148, 149, 150, 159, 164, 173, 
176, 181, 182, 183, 183, 188, 
190, 191, 193, I94> I95» I97> 
198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 
204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 210, 
211, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 

Tolstoy, " Serezha," " Sere- 
zhenka," " S.," Count Sergey 
Nikolayevich, 43, 46, 74, 75, 
77, 80, 120, 125, 131, 137, 
139, 140, 175, 176, 180, 190, 

Tolstoy's Student Years, L. N., 
vide Zagoskin 

Tolstoy, ' ' Valerian, " " V. , " 
Count Valerian Petrovich, 76, 
77, 133, 173, 175, 181, 182, 
184, 196, 197, 200, 212 

Tolydenka, or Tolyzenka (?), 

Trishatny, Constantine, officer, 

Tula, 52, 75, 76, 137 
Turgenev, I. S., 193, 204 

Ukhtomsky (?), 58, 66, 70 
Ulagin (?), 157 
University, The, 31 
Ushakov, S. P., 195 

v., vide Tolstoy, to Count 

Valerian P. 
v., vide " Vanyusha " 
v., vide " Volkonsky " 
V. (locality), 202 
Valerian, vide Tolstoy, Count 

V. P. 
Vanyusha, " Vanyushka," "V." 

(?), 144, 145, 146, 159, 171, 

I72> 173, i75» 176, 182, 199, 

Vasenka, vide Perfilyev 
Venevit. (?), officer, 174 
" Verses," 217 

Verzhbitsky (or Vertbitsky), 146 
Vestnik Evropy, journal, 55 
Vicar of Wakefield, novel by 

Goldsmith, 29 
Volga, the river, 77, 246, 247 
Volkonsky, the Countess Varvara 

Alexandre vna, 126, 127 
Volkonsky, Volkonskys, "V.," 

Princes (Mich. Alex,, Nik. 

Mikh., Mich. Nik.), 45, 46, 

48, 59, 60, 63, 65, 66, 68, 70, 

71, 73, 75, 77 

Volkov, A. S., 68 

Volkovs (Alex. Alexandrovich 
and Sophie Alexandre vna), 68 

Vorontsov, Prince Mich. Sem., 

Vorotynka, village in the Govern- 
ment of Tula, 76, 182 

" Werther," vide Sufferings of 

Young Werther 
Whit Sunday, 161 
Wolf, General, 121 

Ya. (?), 139, 149 
Ya., vide Yanovich 



Yakovlev, 45, 47 

Yakov Yakovlevich, " A good 

story," by Nikolay M., 197 
Yanovich, Yanovsky (?), 132, 

133, 136, I37> 138, 144. 206 
Yanushkevich, Yanyshkevich, 

201, 207 
Yan. Yan. (?), 198 
Yanzhul, M. A., 80, 87, 123, 124^ 

131, 132, 134, 139, 142, 147, 

149, 157, 159, 174, 191, 195, 

2i3» 215 
Yapishka, " Epishka," 114, 115, 

116, 117, 119, 147, 148, 158, 

200, 202, 205, 206, 211, 217, 

Yasnaya Polyana, 51, 52, 65, 

69, 73. 74» 75> 77. 79. 92, iii, 
133, 180, 184, 211, 246, 250 

Youth (part of a story conceived 
by Tolstoy), 211 

Yu., vide Yushkov 

Yushkov, P. I.. "Aunty," 
Pelageya Ilyinishna, 42, 43, 
58, 79, 144, 164, 176, 177 

Yushkovs, V. I. and P. I., 78, 

Yuzenka, 155 




Aim of Life, calling (the higher, 
theoretical and the lower, 
practical calling), 30, 31, 67, 
179, 182, 196; 

Anarchy, 5 

Authorship (creation of artistic 
works, methods of writing), 
poetry and prose, 94, 95, iii, 
112, 145, 191, 201, 207 

Cognition of Self (" Soul "), 
and striving after perfection 
(" struggle "), I, 2, 128, 141, 
142, 156, 157, 168, 169, 178, 
179, 180, 181, 191, 192, 193, 
202, 251 

Common People and Literature, 

94. 95» 96, 97 
Conscience, 178 
Courage and Danger, 85, 86, 

123, 124 
Death, vide Life and Death 
Diary, the " big book," 27, 28, 

34. 35. 36, 38, 39, 42. 44. 50* 

57, 62, 66, 69, 71. 73. 76, 81, 

125, 137, 241-257 
Faith, beliefs and convictions, 

83. 85, 123, 124, 130, 192, 252 

God, to seek God, God's will, 
conception of God, 8^, 84, 

186, 187, 188, 191, 192, 251 
Good and Evil, Virtue and the 

Striving of the Soul, 29, 92, 
93, 178, 179, 180, 185, 186, 

187, 199, 251 

Happiness (of two kinds), 105, 
123, 141, 142, 202, 214 

Ideal, the highest and more 
proximate (sincere thought, 
idea), 31, 32, 55, 67 

Immortality, 85, 202, 251 

Influence (and dependence of 
man's conduct on external 
circumstances), 98, 99, 100 

Justice and Retaliation — in- 
justice, 181, 187, 192 

Life and Death, 99, 123, 187, 251 

Love (personal), friendship, 106- 
III, 141, 202 

Metaphysics, 208 

Music, on Music, occupying 
oneself with music, 35, 36, 

37. 38, 45. 46, 47. 56, 59, 138, 
Nature, one's attitude towards 


it, poetical descriptions, 84, 
85, 88, 89, III 

Opinions of books read, 94, 95, 
96, 97. 138, 168, 173, 177, 178 

Prayer, prayerful frame of mind 
and religiousness, 76, 83, 84, 
125, 126, 130. 137, 138, 181, 
186, 187, 190, 201, 207, 212, 
214, 252 

Present and Future (life in the 
future), 190 

Providence, 84, 214 

Recollections, " Notes " relating 
to Tolstoy's past and his 
lyrical frames of mind, 34, 
35, 37, 39, 40, no, 112, 113, 
125, 129 

Rules (for conduct), 14, 29, 32, 

33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 4^, 
42, 44, 45, 47, 50, 52, 53, 54, 
55, 56, 63, 66, 68, 70, 192, 251 

Self-accusation : Weakness, 
shortcomings, infatuations, 
passions and repentance, 30, 
43, 44, 56, 58, 59-68, 86-90, 
123, 124, 133, 142, 143, 146, 
163, 164, 167, 168, 170, 172, 
176, 188, 201, 207, 251 

Self-Education and Scientific 
Pursuits, 2, 56 

Socialism, 97 

Solitude, I, 85, 251 

Soul, 31, 118, 194, 202 

Suicide, 185 

Thoughts of One's Destiny, 140, 

Will and Development (physical 
and intellectual), 98, 99, 192, 

Woman, Women and Marriage, 
33, 67, 109, 167, 174 

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